Monday, August 31, 2009

Birthday Weekend

It's hard to see, but his little star Kolby is wearing says "Birthday Boy!" Kolby celebrated 6 years of life last Friday. He was the first baby we chose NOT to know the gender of before he was born. Since we already had a boy and a girl, it was fun to wonder which way it would go. We had a hard time deciding on a name for this little guy. Heath liked the name Kolby, so we went with it, but it wasn't until days later that he realized I had spelled it with a "K". Why wouldn't I, with two kids already in with the "K" tradition? His middle name is Heath, after his Daddy, of course.

Kolby is our most energetic kid by far. He loves to be outside, doing physical activities. He is amazing with his biking skills, he can win any sword fight with his light saber tricks, and he can run anyone into exhaustion. Needless to say, we have a hard time keeping up with this guy.

As much as he likes to be moving around, Kolby is quite addicted to whatever treats he can get a hold of...even if that means sneaking downstairs in the middle of the night to get them. I am always finding wrappers thrown under his bed from his little escapades. He is good at sneaking, but not very good at hiding the evidence. Consequently, he spends a lot of time being punished for his crimes, but according to Kolby, it is all worth it. We are hoping this is a phase he grows out of.


On to his birthday. I always try to make the kids' birthdays as focused on them as possible, so they get to choose all their meals for the day. Kolby wanted a pancake and sausage dog, with fruit and juice. For lunch, he had a special luncheable, where he got to build his own little hamburgers, complete with a caprison drink and a treat. For dinner, he wanted Nachos. We basically built up tacos on tortilla chips, and I must say, the meal was excellent.

After dinner, we took our standard "Family Birthday Photo", which proved to be a little un-standard, but the kids had fun with it. Then we opened presents. Kolby got a laser tag game and a walkie talkie set. We moved outside, into our jungle of a back yard, and let the kids play with the games. Both the boys proved excellent shots.

Heath even jumped in and "helped" Keaton aim and fire.

Finally Keaton got a turn to do it himself.

Here is what Kolby thought of Keaton's aim.

Georgie was sure the walkie-talkies were for her, since the boys were playing with the laser tag. We had a hard time getting her to give them up.

However, the biggest present for Kolby was a brand new bike. Heath got both the boys a new bike, complete with gears and shocks and hand brakes, and worked very hard all week fixing them up to get them in tip-top shape. I'm so glad I have a husband who knows how to do things like that! Since Keaton's birthday is next month, Heath went ahead and gave Keaton his present a bit early, so both the boys could enjoy their bikes together.
Keaton's bike fit him great, and he loved having it.

Kolby's bike is still a bit big for him, but he is managing quite well with it so far.

Then, after riding around a bit, we came back inside and had Key Lime Pie for dessert. None of the kids really eat cake, so we get to find other fun desserts to have for our birthday parties.
The next day, we had planned a group biking party, with some of the boys' friends, to go riding around a 4 mile trail together, then have pizza and ice cream afterwards at a local park. However, about 45 minutes before the party, it started pouring down rain, including some significant thunder and lightning, so we had to move the party indoors. It cleared up quickly, so the boys all rode bikes around the cul-de-sac and jumped on the trampoline, while the adults stayed inside and chatted. It turned out to be a fun night, but we plan on letting the boys do the biking trail another day. Here is a picture of some of the boys enjoying their ice cream bars.

I think it was a very fun weekend for Kolby (and Keaton!). Happy Birthday Kolbers!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Happy Sunday!


Georgie was happy to go to church today. She had just taken a bath, where she washed her hair and "feets" all by herself. She wanted to wear her "yewow" dress and red shoes. She has a flower in her hair too.
Hope you have a great Sunday. (Jennifer, these pictures are for you.)

Friday, August 28, 2009

New Sewing Desk!


I couldn't stop thinking about Goodwill yesterday, so I deduced that there must be something there that I must have. So Georgie and I took a little trip over just before lunch. I walked right back to the furniture, and saw this amazing desk. It's scratched up and vintage in such a lovely way. I want to distress it a little bit more, too.

Anyway, I fell in love with it immediately, and two minutes after entering the store, it was purchased and being loaded up in my van. I didn't know where or what to do with it at first, but I soon realized that it would be a perfect sewing desk. Previously, I have been taking my sewing machine upstairs to sew at the my kitchen table. Now, this desk is in the unfinished basement, in my craft area, just waiting for me to sew something. Isn't it lovely?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Reply

Last month, Kamy sent a letter to Paula Deen, from the Food Network. She got a reply last week, and was thrilled.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What to do at 3am when sleep escapes you.

It is so frustrating when you want to fall asleep, but your body betrays you. So what do you do at two in the morning?

-I go to the bathroom. Always having a full bladder is quite an annoyance. Perhaps that's what woke me up to begin with. However, upon curling back up in bed, I find that I am completely awake.

-I feel the baby wake up and enjoy twenty minutes of feeling him play a game of ping pong in my belly.

-I lay out all the details, in my head, of a baby shower for a friend of mine.

-I stare at the husband. He is sleeping. I am jealous.

-I stare at the ceiling, and my newly formed skylight curtains. They strangely look like what I would imagine an inside of a coffin to look like, only with a popcorn ceiling surrounding them. It's not soothing at all.

-I think about what I can make for the upcoming baby showers I will be going to.

-I tell myself to go to Costco and order a cake for the boys' birthday, even though nobody in my family really eats cake.

-I play the Tooth Fairy, extracting Kolby's second lost tooth from his room. He makes me work for it. Takes a while to find the darn tooth. Where did he put it??

-I finally get up and make my way downstairs, to the computer. What else is there to do?

-I seriously think about sweeping and mopping my kitchen floor. Then I talk myself out of it.

-a cup of crushed ice. :)

-I don't even bother turning on the television. Unless there is a show I want to watch, I hate the tv being on.

-Why do I want to make banana bread right now? Good thing I don't have any bananas.

-I wonder if I could text someone. Would they answer?

-My feet are cold. I'm going back to bed, even though I am WIDE AWAKE!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

So Begins Homework


Thus begins another tradition, of sitting at the table and watching the kids pull out their homework. Excess papers are sorted through, most of which get thrown away (it makes great kindling for when we use the fireplace) and little bits of advice and help are given, including "Yes, your teacher wants you to do the WHOLE page, not just the first question."
.
Kolby is not very anxious to have homework. He wasn't last year either. He could care less about writing, reading, adding, or basically anything that involves picking up a pencil and using it to demonstrate proficiency. He is a very energetic boy, and doesn't seem to have the desire to sit still for any length of time. He'd rather be outside, pretending that his stick, curtain rod, pole, or any other straight object, will help him conquer the world against evil villains. He also has remarkable biking skills, which is a post for another day.
.
Kolby did try to throw a bit of a fit today, while doing his homework. What you see in the picture, the nicely drawn "a" letters, are the result of his second try. His first attempt looked like a bunch of flattened out "o" shapes with curly loops after it. He wasn't too pleased to see me grab the big pink eraser. It was the anticipation of his reward (10 minutes on the computer) that made his tears dry up and his letters to look recognizable.
.
There was also one discovery that I'm sure will be repeated throughout the school year. It was the transfer of half a container of leftover chocolate pudding, smeared all over his lunchbox, and oozing throughout the inside of his backpack, wilting all his new crisp folders and papers. Sorry Kolbers. No pudding tomorrow...or the next day...or the next.....
.
Another added extra for today: Kolby lost his 2nd tooth! Even though it was super wiggly, he still opted to have his tooth tied to some floss, and have the door slamming knock his tooth out. Crazy kid. Luckily, the Tooth Fairy actually has a few dollars lying around. Miracles do happen!

Blasted Skylights!

We have two skylights in our bedroom. These skylights have bugged us since day 1. We don't like them. We don't need them. We don't want them. However, we just can't change the architecture of the ceiling, so we've lived with them.

We've lived with them waking us up at 5am, with the early morning sunlight coming through. We've lived with them shining sunlight directly on our bed (with no other place to position the bed) all day long. This is especially annoying on days I want to take a nap. I feel like I have rectangular spotlights directly across me. We've also lived with these darn skylights making our bedroom a greenhouse. It is really a sauna in our room.

We've lived with these skylights disturbing our peace for so long because we figured we were moving, and it didn't matter that much. Well, we are not moving, and yesterday was the LAST STRAW! It was over a hundred degrees outside yesterday, but that was nice and balmy compared to the temperature in our bedroom. (and Heath and I weren't even in there to sizzle things up some more!) We couldn't stand to be in our room. I declared to do something about the blasted skylights. TODAY!


So I went to the store, thinking that I would buy some material and make some easy curtains for the skylights, but after bumping into an old friend, I was told that I should just get premade thermal curtain panels. These panels would not only block out the sunlight, they would block out the heat! Perfect. So I bought two panels, shortened each one a little bit, re-sewed a hem so I could get the tension rods through there, and PRESTO!! Covered skylights.

Sweet darkness. I might just get a nap today.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Obsessive Behaviors


My Bloggy Friend PureJoy gave me an award last week. I dearly appreciate it. She is a very motivated and inspirational person. She leaves me great comments. She has a huge heart. Thank you!!


According to the "rules", I now need to list 5 obsessions and then tag 5 people. Let's see. I feel like I share so much on this blog, that you could probably list my obsessions for me. I'll name a few, but if you feel inclined to add to the list, I won't mind a bit.
-
1. I love crushed ice. This is not a new thing for me. I've always had a hanker'in for chewing on ice. I like to make it mostly chopped up in my mouth, and then swallow it when it's still chunky and slushy. Feels so good going down my throat. During pregnancies, this craving gets almost out of control. With my last pregnancy, there wasn't a SONIC nearby to get bags of ice from, but I did work at a hospital. Before leaving, I would fill up my Ziploc bag with crushed ice, take it home, and stash it in the freezer. I often felt guilty about this, but I just Had To Have Crushed Ice!! I'm so glad that now, I can legitimately buy a bag of crushed ice to fulfill my cravings.
-
2. Freshly Baked Bread. I'm really not a "pastry" type of girl. During college, I worked in a bakery in the early hours of the morning. People would come in and get their donuts and bagels for breakfast. I always got comments of how lucky I was to work in a bakery, and don't I just love all the donuts and the wonderful smells. Actually, the smell made me sick. Donuts...dripping in grease....well, it just doesn't do it for me. Besides, I have a problem digesting most types of oils, so with that added to the mix, it wasn't a happy job for me. That being said, I love freshly baked bread. Right out of the oven. I slice it up immediately, spread some butter on it, and I'm in HEAVEN! Growing up, my mom made rolls quite often. The only problem was that she wouldn't let us have any right away. We had to wait for dinner, and by that time, they were cold and hard. It was so frustrating! When I started making rolls and bread, I made a rule that whoever was with me, had to have some fresh bread right away! When it's hot, it's best. I'm a sucker for freshly baked bread.
-
3. I ALWAYS separate my silverware in the dishwasher. I put all the forks together, all the knives, all the spoons, etc. They are face-up in their little compartments so they get clean better (except for the knives, which are face-down) and when it comes to putting them away, they are already neatly organized for me. If someone else happens to load the dishwasher, which really isn't often, and doesn't do it MY way, it totally ruins my day for me. I shouldn't let it get to me so much, but really, I don't ask for much. Just separate the silverware. It's such a little thing, but to me, it makes the biggest difference.
-
4. My bedroom is always the LAST room to get clean. I'm always on top of the Family Room and the Kitchen. Those rooms MUST be clean. I simply cannot have someone come into my house and have them see messes. It frazzles me. So I keep the front rooms clean and ready. I make the kids clean up their rooms (then I help them with the deeper cleaning). The thing is, my room hardly ever gets cleaned. It just doesn't seem like a priority. It bothers me. Alot. But yet, it stays messy.
-
5. I am always taking pictures. I really want to document the kids' childhood. I want them to know what they looked like when they were 3, how I looked when I was pregnant with them, and other such things. I wish I had more pictures of me and my siblings growing up, so that is the motivator behind my obsessive photography. Oh, I often hear moans and complaints from the husband or the kids. "No more pictures!", but I know they will appreciate it. Eventually.
-
Ok, so there are 5 things about me. Don't you feel like you know me better now? Maybe I scared some of you off. Oh well. We all have our quirks, don't we?
-
I tag some of my Colorado Friends: Colleen, Heidi, Adri, Margaret, Katie, Becky, Robin, Trinette, Jen, Lori.
(I know it's more than 5. Oh well.)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Blogiversary Winners

I printed out all the names, cut them up, placed them in bowls, and stared at the ceiling while I drew out a piece of paper for each giveaway. Very scientific.

WINNERS!!

The winner of the wallet is: Jeff and Lori

Jeff and Lori said...
I'm new to the blog world, but I already love your blog! I have tried 3 recipes so far and your stories make me smile. Happy blogiversary!
August 18, 2009 10:13 PM


The winner of the recipe book is: April
April said...
Lets see here before I make my menu for the week I check out your blog for ideas and then more then half of the menu comes from you... I then have to get back on your blog almost nightly to make dinner since I don't have them memorized yet. It would save me so much time if I had this cute recipe book and then I could have a cute book to display in my new cookbook stand.
August 19, 2009 8:56 PM

The winner of the watch bracelet is: Sweet Stuff and Tiny
sweet stuff and tiny said...
I love the colors, I have a couple of these bands, but not these colors. I would love the watch.Love your crafts and tutorials.Thanks for having such a great blogiversary. Congratulations!
August 20, 2009 5:53 PM

Please don't despair!!
**If you want a wallet, my sister SHARON makes and sells them, so just go to her bog and leave her a comment. She'll get a hold of you.
**If you want a recipe book, you are in luck! I am putting together a recipe book on blurb (same site that turned my blog into a book) and it will have all of my blog recipes, as well as lots of new recipes!! It should be ready by November and then you can go to blurb and buy your own copy of my recipes. I promise you'll love it. The printing quality is really great. Plus, proceeds will go to all the new expenses for our special baby boy we are expecting, so it's for a good cause!
** If you want a watch bracelet, they are super easy to make. Just follow my TUTORIAL and you'll have your very own stylish bracelet.

Winners, please email me your contact info (kamyrensmiles@hotmail.com) and I'll get these mailed out to you soon. Thanks for being a part of my 2 years of blogging. Here's to many more! Cheers.

Signs of Pregnancy

...I wake up at 3am and am absolutely DYING for some crushed ice. Coincidentally, I wake the husband up with my crunching noises, and since he's so use to it, it doesn't even phase him.

...I find myself waking up early in the morning, just so I can have my morning fix of waffles and turkey sausage, only to find one morning when it's the last thing I want. Craving DONE.

...I am completely exhausted one day, and can't find any motivation to get off the couch, but another day, I am so full of energy that I'd leave Lance Armstrong in the dust...providing I could swing myself up on a bike.


...whoa. Are these my boobs? They've overtaken my body.

...Is it really too much to ask to go one hour between potty visits?

...if only these maternity jeans would stay up, instead of sliding down every time I bend over, walk around, or sit down.

...Patience? What does that mean?

...I take my big refillable popcorn bucket to the theater in the middle of the day, with no inclination to see a movie. I just HAVE to have some movie-theater popcorn. NOW!! In fact, every day would be just great.

...the people at Jamba juice know me. One original Mango-A-Go-Go with protein boost, coming right up. (These are especially good in combination with the movie theater popcorn!)

..."Yes, I'd like 5 bags of your crushed ice please." The people at Sonic have never heard of such a request.

...you mean I have to cook dinner today? Gross. Food is the last thing on my mind.

...food is the only thing on my mind.

...I am driving along. I smell french fries. Absolutely MUST get french fries!

...I endure people saying "Oh, you are having a baby! You must be due any time, right?" Nope. 3 months left. Thank you for making me feel huge.

...I recreate The Great Wall Of China in bed every night, with my body pillow and blankets, just to get comfortable. The husband doesn't stand a chance of getting through the barrier.

...crushed ice!! Oh, did I mention that already?

...oh my goodness. My belly feels SOOOOO tight! Can it stretch any more?

...I keep a stash of crackers, candy, and other such goodies in my purse. These are intended for me. Not my toddler.

...."Honey, do you want some ice cream?" Uh, no thanks. Got any crushed ice?

...this shirt fit me last week. Seriously?

...shaving my legs? No easy feat.

...help. I was sitting on the floor. Now I can't get up.

...I MUST CLEAN EVERYTHING!

...

...oh, did I forget to write something? I can't remember anything lately.

...as much as I've always loved brushing my teeth, I now dread it. I gag with every swipe of the tooth brush.

..."Babe, come feel the baby kick! Oh, he stopped. No wait, he kicked again! Just keep your hand here. Eventually you will feel..."

...is 9:30 am too early for a nap?


...do you smell that? My nose is constantly in overdrive.


...I'm not waddling! Am I?


...Why am I crying all the time? Seriously. A bird flies past me and I tear up.


...I really want to go to bed, but first, I have to climb up my stairs. Is it really worth it? The couch looks so appealing right now.


...Countless hours are spent talking to the baby, and rubbing my stomach.


...never before have weeks been counted off with such fastidiousness. Another week checked off the calendar brings such joy.


...just don't even tell me what I weigh now.


...the phrase: "Bottoms off. The doc will be in to check you" doesn't even phase me.


(winners will be posted later today!)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

What Time Is It?

Time for the last giveaway to celebrate my blogiversary!! I must say, I was so happy reading all of your lovely comments. I'm so glad you like my little blog and my recipes. I feel surrounded by friends.

Up for new ownership is this watch bracelet. It's not bulky at all, for those of you who don't like big chunky bracelets. It can be worn with a multitude of colors, and it's made by me. That should make it desirable, right? The only thing about this bracelet, is that even though it is stretchy, it might not fit some people's wrist. If you win it and it's too small, you'll have a great gift to give someone.
Anyway, as you can tell from this blog, I love to explore the crafty depths. If you have come across a cool crafty idea, or something fun to make, or pretty much anything to make for a baby (I'm in the baby zone!), then leave a comment with a link so you can share the crafty love with me and everyone else. (Even if you don't have a crafty idea for me, you can still leave a comment to be entered in the drawing.) I'll draw all the winners, for all the giveaways, tomorrow. So you still have time to enter all of them.
Thanks for being part of my celebration!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Recipe Book Giveaway!

Welcome to Day 2 of my Blogiversary Celebration. Today we are focusing on recipes. I have almost 60 recipes on my sidebar. The list is getting quite long and fabulous. I absolutely LOVE making new recipes, tweaking old ones, and sharing them with friends. No "secret family recipes" here. Why keep a fabulous recipe to yourself?

I especially love to write out my recipes in an easy to understand way. They don't have to be complicated.

So that is what I try to focus on when I am posting a recipe for you. Easy to make and delicious to eat. If you have tried any of my recipes, tell me. Which ones do you like? Which ones are now a part of your menu? Really sell it to me, and to anyone who hasn't taken the leap into the kitchen. I will draw a winner to receive this recipe book, which is a compilation of all the recipes posted on my blog, neatly written out and organized into one cute binder. If you are like me, you won't have to bring up my blog to get measurements for a recipe again...that is, until I post more recipes!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Happy 2 Year Blogiversary To Me!!

Hello everyone!! Thank you for being here for my 2nd blogiversary!! I have gone through the year of posts and picked out some of my favorites for your viewing (and reading) pleasure. Tell me what was interesting for you. If you leave me a comment, you'll be entered in the drawing (see the end of the post!).

This is the link to my First Year in Review.

Craftiness

This simple little craft still gets a lot of attention.
Finger Puppet Fun!
The first PURSE I ever made, which started up a whole slew of sewing for me, including these dolls, these skirts, this Wasp Bag, this adorable apron, the crochet dollie, this tag monster, and soft baskets, among other things.
Learn how to make a cute watch bracelet.

Make a supercape for your superhero in no time flat!


Good Reading

The story of the Haircut Horror.
Some journal excerpts from when I was 10 years old.
The story of the scooter crash.

The story of a fishy murder.
Did you know there is a National Punctuation Day?
The story of growing up on generational biscuits.
The story of how NOT to fly through the window.
The story of my mailman.
The story of my dangerous ride on the highway.
The story of how I got someone to marry me.
The incredibly short story of my first 8 years of life.
The story of my high school math teacher.



Random Interests

Our Christmas Eve Tradition.
Keaton had his heart broken for the first time.
If you need some party games, here is one, and here is another.
Randomness about me, and a top 10 list.
Luckily Georgie has outgrown the "passionate kissing" phase...for now.
Kolby still can't keep his hands out of the treats.
We are pregnant!
Family Reunion Time!
Our 10 year anniversary.
We found out that our baby is very special.

Thanks for being part of my year. I have a few days of giveaways planned, so keep coming back. Today's giveaway is sponsored by my sister Sharon. She is amazing at crafts and sewing. If I ever have a question about making something, she is the one I call. So I asked her to make something fun for my bloggy friends. She came up with this cute wallet. Do you want it? All you have to do is check out her blog. If you add it to your favorites, you won't be disappointed.


Leave me a comment here and you'll be entered in the random drawing to win this wallet. Say something nice.

Monday, August 17, 2009

It's 8am and the kids are gone!

It's Back to School time!! Usually it seems that this day can't come soon enough, but our summer seemed to go by very quickly this year. Perhaps it was because of the 3+weeks that we were visiting family, but whatever the reason, it kind of snuck up on us. Nevertheless, we had everything ready. The kids met their teachers last Friday. Kamy is in 4th grade. Keaton is in 2nd grade, and Kolby is in 1st grade. Do you know what this means? It means that Georgie and I have the whole day to ourselves.

We prepared for school last night by setting out their backpacks and making their school lunches (turkey sandwich, granola bar, goldfish crackers, 2 oreo cookies, and some lemonade). We even made one for Georgie, because she kept saying "but where is MY lunch?" Her's is in the fridge. The kids also laid out their clothes, cleaned their rooms and did their chores so that we would have a nice calm morning.

Before I went to bed, I checked on the kiddos to make sure everything was alright. I found Kamy, the princess, sleeping peacefully.

Breakfast was waffles, sausage, raspberry muffins, and orange juice.

Then, after brushing teeth and washing hands, it was picture time!


The kids walk to school. It's about 1/2 a mile away. They enjoy the walk, and I enjoy not having to drive them.
They look so big in this next picture! I hope they have a fantastic school year. However, I'll settle for a fantastic 1st day of school.
Meanwhile, this little sleeping angel still hasn't woken up. I think I just might crawl back into bed myself.


Don't forget to come back tomorrow! It's my 2 year blogiversary and I've got some fun things to giveaway.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Letters to the Tooth Fairy

So after the boys had their teeth knocked out, self inflicted, they sat down at the table and wrote a note to the Tooth Fairy. Anything to get them out of going to bed, right?

Kolby drew himself, a tiny little Tooth Fairy with wings, and a lone tooth, with red on the inside to show the blood. Very nice.



Keaton drew himself, and then tried to explain how he lost his tooth.

He wrote: "I tieeb a flos on my tooht and the door nob and I slamd the door and my tooth fell out." (I tied a floss on my tooth and the door knob and I slammed the door and my tooth fell out.)

The Tooth Fairy came and left a note for the boys, along with a five dollar bill (the only cash she could find on such short notice). Her note read: "Dear Keaton and Kolby, You were so brave to pull your teeth out all by yourself! I am so happy I got to visit both of you at the same time. Keaton, it is ok that you lost your tooth on the floor. I always come, whether you have a tooth for me or not. Kolby, I hope your other loose tooth comes out soon so that I can come back again. Thank you for the wonderful pictures. Here is some money for both of you to share. Love, the Tooth Fairy.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

How to Freeze Food

If you want to start making freezer meals,there are a few things you should know. First off, it is important to get the right supplies. I buy disposable baking pans so that I don't use all of my dishes, and then not have any left when I am making a normal meal. Secondly, I buy freezer safe Ziploc bags and lots of aluminum foil. You want these meals as protected from freezer burn as possible.

Next, I research. There is a lot of info on how to freeze food if you look on the Internet. For example, you will discover that some foods freeze better than others. You don't want to put hot food right into the freezer. You also learn how to properly thaw your food before you bake it. I take out my freezer meal at least 24 hours before I want to eat it. 48 hours is even better. I put it in the fridge to thaw during that time, and when I am ready to bake it or cook it, it is perfectly thawed and ready to be cooked.

Many of the recipes I have posted along the right hand side of my blog can be used as freezer meals. If it can be frozen, I've added the instructions of what to do, in the post. Remember, freezer meal doesn't always mean casserole. I freeze many things, including soups, desserts, breads, and meat. Sometimes it is not a complete meal either. Sometimes it is just a few steps of preparation (marinating, cooking hamburger, breading chicken) that helps you on your way to getting your meal done faster.

If you have never tried making a freezer meal, you should do it. Start slowly. Don't overwhelm yourself with trying to do 20 meals in one day. Start with making a lasagna or something. Instead of making one, make two. Put one in the oven to cook for your evening meal, and wrap up the other in aluminum foil and put it in the freezer. Now you have a freezer meal! For the most part, my freezer meals do not get cooked before I freeze them. They are like a lasagna....assembled, but not baked yet. There are some exceptions to that, like my Floating Taco recipe (check the sidebar). I freeze that after I've cooked it.

Best thing to do is research. Find some recipes that sound good to you. Start making some. Easy as that.

Procrastinating Bedtime by Knocking Your Teeth Out

So last week, hours after we sent the kids to bed, the boys came downstairs and informed us that they each had a loose tooth that just couldn't wait any longer, and needed to be pulled out. Now these loose teeth of theirs had been loose for about two months, and hadn't ever bothered their bedtime routine. On this day, however, it seemed that it couldn't be ignored.

We each took turns feeling the wobbly teeth (the 5th loose tooth for Keaton and the 1stt for Kolby) and decided that they weren't wobbly enough. If they wanted them pulled now, they would need to wiggle them some more. So they did. They came back in a few minutes and both of their teeth were considerably more loose. Time to pull them out.

Kolby didn't want to get some tissue and have us work the tooth out. He wanted to tie some string to his tooth and knock it out by force. I think he has watched too many movies. At any rate, he was not to be influenced my way. He got some dental floss and waited patiently as his daddy tied it around his tooth.

Then they tied it around the doorknob.

Heath told Kolby that if he wanted to do this, he would have to push the door closed himself. It had to be a big push too. Kolby understood.
He pushed. The tooth popped out. Kolby couldn't have been more pleased with himself.

Not to be outdone, Keaton decided that he had to have his tooth pulled the same way. So once again, the husband found himself standing by the door, tying floss to the door, and to Keaton's tooth.

Keaton was asking "Will it hurt?" Heath said "Yes." Keaton still decided to go for it. With a little ninja yell, he slammed the door closed.

The floss popped off his tooth. They tried it again. Same thing happened. Third times a charm. The tooth came off with so much gusto....that we couldn't find it anywhere. We all got on our hands and knees and looked around, but without luck. Still, he got his tooth out. He was happy.

Then, to procrastinate bedtime even more, both the boys decided they had to write notes to the Tooth Fairy. Keaton, especially, was worried that the Tooth Fairy wouldn't come for him because he had no tooth to leave for her, so he wanted a note to explain things. Next post: Tooth Fairy Notes.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

More Freezer Meals

I did some huge grocery shopping yesterday, and thanks to my dear friend Paula for watching my kids, I got to shop completely alone.

I had a lot of food to get because it had been since before our vacation in June that I had done any major shopping. Also, I've kind of lost a bit of my energy, since we found out about our baby, and I just want to make things simple on myself. You may think that making a ton of freezer meals all in one morning isn't really "simple", but it is. Compared with the time it takes to make dinner every night, the decisions about what to make, and all the added dirty dishes that accompany the preparation, it makes dinnertime extraordinarily simple. So compared with a few hours of labor it takes to make a dozen freezer meals, it is well worth it.

This time around, the freezer meals include lasagna, strogonoff, meatloaf, chicken taquitos, chicken pot pie, shepherd's pie, and nacho bake. I will be making two batches of each of these meals. It usually takes just a tiny bit more ingredients, to double a recipe. Plus, you can make it in the same amount of time as it takes to make one.

I also have some meals that I can prepare ahead of time for. This means that the complete meal isn't done, but that things are already prepared, so I can make it more quickly the night I want it. So I have a pork tenderloin that is already combined with the marinade, and in the freezer. I have cooked and seasoned the chicken for the Alfredo chicken pizza, as well as made the Alfredo sauce for it (surprisingly, it freezes great.). I have the hamburger seasoned and cooked for the hamburger mac and cheese, the ham cut up for the cauliflower casserole and the fried rice, the sausage browned and crumbled for the sausage penne, and the meatballs ready for the spaghetti.

Then I have some meals that I will make from scratch the night we want to make them, like my baked potato soup, grilled chicken and mashed potatoes, and meatball subs...because these meals come together in less than 20 minutes anyway.

Next up, tackling and organizing my basement. Anyone wanna join in the fun?

Monday, August 10, 2009

And So The Days Go On

A friend suggested we go to a sprinkler park to let the kids play together, and to get my mind off things. So we went. At first, Georgie didn't want to get too wet. It was a nice day, but a bit cooler than it had been, and when you combine that, with freezing water being sprayed on you, well, I wouldn't want to get wet either.

But she did twirl around and got "misted" a little.
Then we moved to another section of the park and let the kids play on the play equipment. We have some good acrobats in our family.




We have told the kids a little of what to expect when their baby is born. They know that his heart is broken and that the doctors are going to try to make it work. They understand that I will be in the hospital with him for a while, and that he will have special medication and equipment. They also know that this is severe enough that he might not live, and will instead, go back to be with Heavenly Father. They accept everything, and have great faith.
Emotions are at the surface. Simple things make me tear up. Our life has changed, but I don't see that change as being bad. It is simply a new challenge with a whole lot of love to go with it. We will take these next few months day by day. I feel the need to organize and simplify my life. And so...the days go on.