January 31, 2012

Basketball Star!

 Luke dribbling down the court. He looks so tall!

He shoots!

Luke is playing Upward Basketball at a church this winter. Luke & Silas are on the same team which is fun. I have been very impressed with the organization of the league and the people running the program are so kind. Luke's coach is great with the kids. They have a little team devotional and earn stars to iron onto their team undershirt after each game. Different colored stars have different meanings. Luke loves seeing the stars ironed onto the sleeve of his shirt! He plays every Saturday. For the kindergarten team they practice 30 minutes and then have a 30 minute game. Before the game starts they call the team in and they run through the gym doors across to their bleacher. So cute. The kids think that is awesome. Luke is on the Pumas. They don't keep score, they are mostly trying to talk the kids through how basketball is played even during the game...you have to dribble AND run etc. We spend a lot of time laughing in the bleachers because it is just so funny to see them playing. Luke made 2 baskets this past Saturday at the game and earned the defensive star this week! Yay Luke! Oh, and he wants to be a professional basketball player when he grows up now. :)
Luke with part of his team & the coach. There are 8 kids on the team.
Go Pumas!

My Birthday

 Me and the Boys

33 candles put off some serious heat! Andy made sure to buy enough candles. The boys got a kick out of that.

The cake.

Andy outdid himself. He made this on his own! I had shown him a cake from a blog a LONG time ago that was similar. I love colorful things. I loved rainbows when I was young. Colors make me happy. Anyway, I knew the frosting was the whipped cream cheese icing but had no idea what was on the inside until he cut it open. I was very impressed! The boys thought it was very neat too! Wilson says this is the cake he wants next year. Andy made me feel very special & loved. Thanks baby!

This was a great birthday! I felt very loved by family and friends. Thank you for making my birthday special!

January 30, 2012

Recipe Binder

So I've had a recipe binder for a while. It has looked like this for a long time. Yep, I once turned on the wrong burner on my new to me then stove and melted plastic onto my ceramic stovetop. Andy thankfully was able to clean it off. Notice all the white papers sticking out the side? TONS of printed recipes that were just loose hanging out. When I looked for a recipe I had to flip through all of those plus the ones in plastic sheet dividers to find what I was looking for.

The dividers weren't wide enough to show past the page protectors. They were invisible. Couldn't ever find the section I needed. Plus I had never labeled them.

 The new goods. I love my new binder I found out Target. IT is a 2inch binder with a brown background and cream flowers. The centers of the flowers are different colors of the rainbow. I bought coordinating folders to use as dividers. The green cardstock is for gluing smaller recipes cut out of magazines so all recipes are 8 1/2 by 11. (Both of those ideas were found on one of my new favorite blogs, here.) I put two on a green sheet when possible to make the most use of each page. Also used the front & back to glue recipes on since the page protectors are clear and show both sides! I spent $18 plus tax. We already had some plastic page protectors.
I opted to hole punch the folders without cutting them in half. Andy did that part. Then I glued them closed so they wouldn't be flapping open as I was flipping through to find recipes.

The three colors of file folders...blue, brown, & green with the coordinating flowers. *love*
I used my handy label maker to make label the dividers. I had clear label tape at first and then had to go buy more and Wal-mart was sold out of clear...had to switch to white. That bugs me a little bit. BUT oh well! These are recipes I have found on the food blogs I read or from Pinterest etc that I print out. I still have some cookbooks and I still have some recipe cards. The cards are organized in a spiral photo album and just tucked into the photo sleeves. I decided to not add them to this binder.

The categories in my binder:
DIY- (homemade taco seasoning, dressings, croutons, etc)
Main Dish

Top View
Is it bad that the last section (desserts) is the biggest?! The one right before that is main dish, so at least it is somewhat balanced!

Check out my updated 20 in 2012 post!

January 26, 2012

Pinterest Food on the Menu

This week's menu featured a few more Pinterest inspired recipes. I promise I pin lots of things that are not recipes! It's just I have to cook dinner so I might as well make it fun and interesting!

Crockpot BBQ Chicken - This was good. Will make again. It was good as leftovers too! We had this with "the Best Broccoli of your life" and my favorite garlic rice pilaf (from good ol' Annie's Eats). OK so the broccoli was okay, I ate it and enjoyed it but no one else did. And I would be just find not eating it that way again. We decided plain steamed broccoli is enough for us! This one involves roasting, lemon zest, parmesan cheese etc. Good but probably won't make it again. Aleady deleted the pin. Everybody loves the rice recipe. So good. You should definitely try that one!

Easy Breakfast Potatoes - These were pretty good. I might make them again but they weren't spectacular.  But easy! We had these with turkey sausage egg mcmuffins. I learned from Pinterest to cook eggs in a muffin tin and bake them. We like to scramble the eggs before baking so the yolk is mixed in. Then we put them on whole wheat english muffins with turkey sausage and a slice of cheese. Yum! This is my second time to make the mcmuffins.

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting- you all, I came home from work on Monday and the house smelled like cake. Andy had made me a birthday cake! It was a surprise though and I wasn't allowed to know what kind. It about killed me. Surprises aren't really my thing I guess. Come to find out he had seen me on Pinterest and saw me pin this icing and I had said something along the lines of cream cheese frosting being the only kind I actually like. While I was at work on Monday he got on Pinterest, found my recipe board, got this recipe, and frosted the cake he made me with it. How sweet was that? Just wait till you see pics of what the cake looked like. I almost cried because he made me feel so special. I'll post pics and tell you about my birthday this weekend.

I have a fish recipe on the menu but haven't made it yet. I'll post it next week if it is good!

Cake Pictures

 Wilson's police badge cake (Lego City Police Dept. & he turned 8). He refused to let Andy put his name on it. I baked the cake. Andy did everything else on this one!

 Luke wanted cake pops. I wanted a way for him to still get to blow out candles and this was my last minute idea. Luke loved the little green monsters!

And that's a wrap on the 6 & 8 year old birthday party!

January 22, 2012

Party Pics!

UPdated Blog Layout

I updated my blog sidebar. Yay! New pics of the boys, a cloud of list topics, updated list of blogs I read (plus I fixed the links of a couple that changed). I added two of my new favorite blogs I found recently. The first one I found via Pinterest because of some really cool hair pics. That blog is The Small Things Blog. The other blog is called I Heart Organizing. Hoping to get some good ideas from that one. Check them out!  Yesterday Andy got about 2 years of pics off his fancy camera and put the on the computer so I'll have lots of pictures to post in the near future. Don't worry. I won't post 2 years worth ;) .

January 17, 2012

Pinterest Project #1

So yesterday I made a Menu Board! This was inspired from Pinterest. I bought a 12x12 frame at Hobby Lobby for $5. It was 1/2 price. I bought a sheet of scrapbook paper for $ .30. I bought 2 packs of scrapbook stickers for a total of $3.00. All together- $8.30! Not bad! The stickers are directly on the paper, so they are under the glass. I just used a dry erase marker to write the menu down. Up until now I used a document I created in word and printed it for menu planning but now I just erase! Saving paper and ink :) .  This helps with my 20 in 2012 post too. In case you are interested in any of the above recipes (other than the sloppy joes and pizza- haha) here are some links.
Pasta alla Vodka- was good last night but when re-heated for lunch today it wasn't very good. Boys thought it was spicy.
Bread with Carrabba's olive oil/spices- YUM - for special italian dinner occasions. (found through Pinterest)
Chicken Fingers
Roasted Green Beans- These were pretty good. would make again or just mix fresh green  beans in with roasted veggies. (found through Pinterest)

Stovetop mac & cheese - finally, an EASY homemade mac & cheese that my family likes! (found through Pinterest)

Veggies= weekly veggie tray

January 16, 2012

20 in 2012

So here is a list inspired by a blog I've found recently via Pinterest. Here are some goals for this year!

1. Get back into running -soon and keep running. I seem to start up and then quit again...I need a long term goal. I finished by C210K and then I quit running shortly after that. So I need a mileage goal for the year. I know some runners will completely laugh at this goal but I'm trying to be realistic. So 300 miles this year. As of now: 59.0 miles complete. I am having a major mental block here. Time to get my butt in gear. :) Just did my first day of C25K! I had two running buddies- Andy and Luke! I'm including biking, elliptical, and running...
2. Read my Jesus Calling daily devotional. I've been reading it already and it is so good.
3. I would love to buy a treadmill to help me with goal #1...
4. make bagels
5. work on decluttering the house
6. clean fridge
7. try to post on the blog once a week doing well so far!
8. begin a prayer journal inspired by the last book my small group read.
9. organize my recipes
10. get pictures of the boys made - it's  been a while
11. buy something from Etsy- I got this scarf I've been eyeing for months! It was on sale for $12.50 this past Wednesday on Facebook!!!
12. plan fun *free* activities to do with the boys. I am with them a lot but I want to intentionally plan some fun things to do such as: bike ride, park, arboretum, make a marble racer like this, paint the snow, hiking, etc.
13. take the boys camping. Now that Ty is 3 I'm ready to try again.
14. try to sell the desk and camper and get them out of the garage. We took these to an Auction House. Hopefully they will sell! They sold and we are so happy to have our garage back!
15. MONTHLY date nights - sometimes with a baby-sitter here and sometimes after the kids are in bed with take-out/movie.
January: hmmm don't remember if we went out to celebrate my birthday or had a date in January or not.
February: Valentine's take-out from PF Chang's
March: Fro-Jo's - super short date but it was just the two of us!
April: Campfire date- star gazing, talking &snuggling by the campfire mall date- shopping, iced coffee/pretzel sharing, 2 hours of just us :)
May: can't remember...
16. get my Uggs cleaned. I've had them for about 4 years and they are a mess!
17. Make at least 3 2 1 Pinterest projects that are not recipes. I have already made several new recipes from pins! Project #1 Project #2 Project #3
18. Intentionally plan dinner/movie/shopping with my sister. We don't get to spend enough time together. We had our birthday lunch together this weekend! We went to see Hunger Games together! We took Ty & Silas to see Toy Story 3 Disney on Ice.
19. Finish Friends. Andy and I have been watching for the last year and we are on Season 8  9  10. So good. I could watch it everyday. After we finish I want to borrow the next season of The Closer from my parents.
20. Read Bringing Up Boys & The Strong Willed Child

I finished the list one time. But there was an error with Blogger...so I redid the last 8 and could only think of 6 of them! So I really wrote 22 goals but two of them are lost. :)

January 14, 2012

Happy Birthday, Luke!

Yesterday was Luke's 6th birthday! He woke up to a 1 hour delay at school. (unfortunately none of them slept extra...they were up earlier than normal beginning at 4:45. They were officially up at 6. WHY?) He had donuts for breakfast and opened a Lego, dot to dot book (he loves those), the movie Despicable Me, and a green sweater before school. I was thankful for the delay because I still needed to ice his cupcakes to take to school. He wanted the same as Wilson, white cupcakes with chocolate icing and sprinkles. I just used the same recipes from Wilson's birthday post. He had a great day at school and chose O'Charleys for dinner. He wanted their rolls & chicken fingers! Today is the boys' party at an indoor gymnastics place. It has a foam pit & lots of trampolines. They are so excited!

I baked two more cakes last night. One chocolate to make cake pops & one vanilla for Wilson's police badge cake. The cake pops are DONE and now we just need to decorate the badge. I saw these candy eyeballs at Walmart and Luke and I thought they would be cute on the cake pops. This is what I ended up doing with them. Treat bags for the party are ready!

Luke lost his first tooth Thursday night! He was so excited. The tooth fairy came for a visit.
Luke has been busy- this morning was his first basketball game! He is playing Upward and I am so pleased with everything about it- nice coach, well organized, nice uniform, etc. Go Pumas!!

January 8, 2012

Happy Birthday, Wilson!

Yesterday Wilson turned 8 years old. EIGHT. I can't believe it! Time truly flies as a grown up. He is getting so tall & strong. I think he is rather handsome as well ;) . He had waffles, turkey bacon, & turkey sausage for breakfast. He opened his birthday gifts from us, a Canine Police Lego & The Lego Book. If you know a Lego lover I highly recommend the book. It is really neat. In the afternoon we had family over to honor Wilson, Caroline, & Luke with cake and icecream. Their 3 birthdays fall within one week. Wilson wanted pizza for dinner so we headed to Puccini's and then did some shopping afterwards. Mimi & Poppy surprised Wilson & Luke with a Wii for their birthdays! So we took them out and bought it last night.  They were so excited. This morning they woke up early to play the Wii. It was almost like Christmas all over! Next weekend Wilson & Luke are having a party with some of their friends.

January 6, 2012

Back in the Kitchen

So I have been really struggling with menu planning lately. I finally told myself enough was enough and I had to make a full week's menu. Hopefully it will continue. It takes a long time to plan the whole week and make the grocery list.  Pinterest (my new favorite thing) has given me a few new recipes to try. Pinterest = love. I have so many ideas for things! It is a great resource. I still have my favorite food blogs of course.  Here are three new ones this week that are worth mentioning!

Creamy Chicken Taquitos from Annie's Eats. I really liked these. Wilson & Luke did not...but I really feel like they should have! It has ingredients in it that they like. Oh well. I'll make these again. I did double the recipe and ended up with about 20 taquitos I think. I wanted leftovers! I also made my favorite salsa from Pioneer Woman to dip these in. Yum!

Last night I made Wilson's birthday cupcakes for him to take to school. He wanted white cupcakes with chocolate icing. I chose the vanilla cake recipe found here and hershey's perfectly chocolate icing here. I took 1 bite of a cupcake and it was good. Andy tasted the cupcake with icing and said it was really good. Wilson told me this afternoon that his friends loved the cupcakes.

I'll be making cupcakes again next week for Luke to take to school. He hasn't decided what kind he wants yet. The cakes for their friend party next week are: Wilson- police badge cake...Andy is in charge of this one! Luke wants cake pops just like last year.

The roast I was supposed to put in the crockpot tonight is still in the freezer...so the kitchen is closed tonight! oops!

January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!!

Hi. Let me introduce myself...ha! So I've been debating whether or not to stop the blog. I just haven't made the time to blog for the last several months. I felt behind and had so many posts I wanted to do and then I was so far behind I just gave up. So. I made my decision to not give up the blog yet. It is a new year so I can just start from right now without too much backtracking.  2011 was a hard year for me for several reasons, but things have been looking better these last couple months and I am slowly coming out of my funk.

We had a wonderful Christmas break. We went to Great Wolf Lodge with my parents and my sister's 3 oldest kids. We had a great time. That place is so fun. The boys and I made sugar cookies with royal icing, we cleaned and organized, made caramel corn, went to a couple Christmas parties, spent lots of time with family, and had a wonderful Christmas. After church on Christmas Eve we went caroling at a nursing home in town with a group from our church. A great tradition for our family to give something back to the community. Christmas day was spent at my grandparents in the morning and my parents in the evening. Unfortunately Andy's family was in Florida. We sure miss seeing them at Christmas!

The week after Christmas Andy and I took a 2 night getaway to Cincinnati to celebrate our 11th anniversary! That just makes us sound crazy OLD. It sure doesn't feel like it has been 11 years. We had a wonderful time. We had dinner at Rock Bottom Brewery, Maggiano's, shopped at Kenwood Towne Center, went to IKEA, slept in (LOVE blackout drapes!!), had coffee at starbucks, breakfast at Bruegger's Bagel Co., relaxed and watched HGTV, and walked around downtown. It was so nice to have so much time to ourselves! We did birthday shopping for the boys and lots of looking around. It was wonderful! This trip was our Christmas gift to each other. We celebrated New Year's Eve as a family by having chocolate fondue. That is our tradition. Ty loooved the fondue. He was all over the pound cake dipped in chocolate. He had a chocolate mouth when we were done!

Now we are coming up on Birthday Month in our house. 3 out of the 5 of us have birthdays this month. Wilson's is this Saturday and Luke's is right around the corner so we have finally ironed out party details. We shall see how well I can keep up with this blog!