October 29, 2010

Oh, Kody.

I don't know if you remember but the day I started writing this blog, I had blogged about our dog Kody. It was a happy day.  You can find that post here. He had went missing, and months later we found him and he was home again. While in college, Ted and I decided we were going to get a puppy. Kody was the puppy we got, a cute, spunky, playful, smart, daring, danger seeking, selective hearing jack russell terrier. There are so many funny, frustrating, happy, and sad stories that I could tell about Kody. Today it is a sad one.

Last night Ted had to run an errand and took the two littlest boys with him, I went up to bed to read and Kody came up with me. I got in bed, he jumped in bed. It was so quiet and peaceful, it reminded me of our days back in college when we would just snuggle up together in my bed or on the couch. I didn't know that would be the last time I would get to be with Kody, by midmorning Ted was on his way to our house to pick up our dogs. (Kody's best doggie friend since he was a tiny pup is Hershey. Hershey is my dog from when I was in high school. An overweight, sweet chocolate lab. Her favorite thing...Kody. When Kody had gone missing 2 springs back, I had never seen Hershey so sad. She would just lay on the ground and hardly would move all day...she got even more overweight. Then Kody returned, and that little sparkle was back in her eye) Kody and Hershey have quite the history of running, when separated they don't run off, put together they get crazy ideas and take off on crazy adventures.

Ted came home with both dogs, unfortunately Kody had taken his last adventure and was gone. Ted buried him under our pines, where Kody loved to lay in the sun and look out onto the field. Just the other morning, Ted and I were watching him lay out there and a deer was having a stand off with him. Just the other day the boys and I were chasing him all around the yard and playing frisbee with him (he could catch a frisbee in the air, and loved it). Just the other day I got mad at him for snuggling up in my clean pile of clothes, he did this ALL of the time. He especially loved when they were fresh out of the drier. I am so sad that there will be no more "just the other day......"

I am missing you so much already Kody.

Kody, you caused us many headaches and were always so mischievous. But beyond all of those headaches, I will always remember you as the great friend you were. There was always something about you, that you knew when I needed an extra snuggle. You could always tell if I was sad or down. Love you, Kody.

Cupcakes. For Breakfast!

No, I haven't totally abandoned "healthy" in a way to give my boys a "treat" for breakfast this morning. Again, Weelicious gave me this great recipe for Breakfast Cupcakes. They look like cupcakes, but they taste like peanut butter pancakes (and you can use the batter for pancakes if you wanted to). Then with a cream cheese and jelly frosting, you get a very yummy (my boys are on seconds and thirds already!) peanut butter and jelly cupcake.

Breakfast Cupcakes

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2  tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (we always use natural, and the real natural stuff that doesn't add things like sugar, it is just ground up peanuts to form a paste, also use any nut or seed butter that you want)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tb sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup milk (low fat or whole, I almost used almond milk but then used regular)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Whisk the first 3 ingredients in a bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the peanut butter, egg and sugar until combined, then whisk in the milk until incorporated. (oops, I just put the all in a bowl and mixed)
  4. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry until combined (don't over beat, or you will have tough cupcakes).
  5. Grease or line mini mufin tins and fill 2/3 of the way up this batter (I used a regular sized muffin tin and a 1/4 cup measuring spoon and it made 12 cupcakes, plus I had enough batter to make 6 mini cupcakes, if making all mini it should make 20-24)
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Cool.
  8. Spread the top with frosting (recipe below) and enjoy!

Jelly Frosting (makes about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup Whipped or regular cream cheese (I used regular and softened it in the microwave)
  • 1/4 cup Jelly, Jam or preserves (I used red raspberry spreadable fruit, smuckers simply fruit brand)

  1. Place both ingredients in a bowl and whisk until througly combined, and smooth like frosting.
  2. Spread on cupcakes.

*I doubled this recipe because this spread is so good on lots of things (like tortillas, dip for apples, a new way to make a pb&j, etc)

HUGE hit over at the our house. Try them, I dare your kids not to like them!

October 26, 2010

School Mask

Landon is in preschool three days a week now. He stays all day, and loves it. He is such my social butterfly that being with 20 other kids his age is like a little bit of heaven on earth for him. His class has a Halloween party but instead of student wearing costumes, the kids get a piece of cardboard to turn into a mask for the party. Landon is so into super heros and for Halloween is dressing up like BATMAN. Of course, he wanted a batman mask to wear to school as well. I may have cheated a little bit, as I did not use the cardboard for the main part of the mask. I did how use the cardboard for a very, very important part of the mask. The ears. BATMAN would not be BATMAN without his bat ears! I did not cheat in the essance that we were told to only use things around the house. Everything used to make this mask was laying around the house.

What I used:
  • a plastic walmart bag
  • duct tape
  • scissors 
  • Landon 
  • cardboard
I put the bag on Landon's head (no, I did not put it all the way over his head, he could breath!). Then I just started going crazy with the duct tape. (The bag made it so it didn't actually stick to his hair/skin, that would have been mean!) I did his head, and then the mask, then the sides of the mask, and lastly cut out the ears from the cardboard, covered them with duct tape and taped them on. 20 minutes later I had a VERY happy boy:)
(of course I couldn't make just one, so 40 minutes later...I have BATMAN and Trevor's version of ROBIN)

Still Wet

That roll of toilet paper from yesterday, yep that one in the picture below. It is still wet. The sad thing about this toilet paper situation was that it was our last roll and I have not gotten to the store. Yes, I have been using wet toilet paper. Source of the water is now known and culprit has come forward.

This morning I had a little chat with Trevor
Me, "Look at this wet toilet paper, how did it get so wet?"
Trevor, "Someone did it."
Me, "I wonder who did it?"
Trevor, "Sorry mom, I did it."
Me, "How did it get wet, from the sink or from the toilet?"
Trevor, "The toilet, mom."

That means I have been having to use toilet dipped toilet paper. I think I will switch to Kleenex until I can get to the store (not sure why I wasn't using them before??).

October 25, 2010

My favorite thing about afternoon

Lincoln logs, of course.
Trevor, "Mom, let's go build the most awesomest building. Will you build with me mom?"
Me, "Sure, lets go."
Trevor, "I'm SUPER excited!"
How can you not love lincoln logs in the afternoon when you get that kind of response!

That's Trevor's new phrase..."I'm SUPER excited!" that and "Mom, I love you so much that I NEED you to (_____)" Fill in the blank here with just about everything, cary me, play with me, read to me, etc. Oh, and he has so been overplaying this one "Mom, I am SO tired and I love you SO much so I need you to carry me." Sad thing is I fall for it every time:)

Oh, how I adore my Bowbevor (aka Trevor)!

And just to fill you all in with what Ethan and Trevor's afternoon activity was, here is a picture. It has to do with too much quiet, a bathroom, a roll of toilet paper, and water (source is unknown, I am thinking the toilet, ewww). This could have been soooo much worse!

And that reminds me, I NEED TO GET CAMERA FIXED. I have an awesome camera that takes crappy pictures because I dropped it and the lens will no longer focus. I did not intentionally want to be in this picture, it was just the only way to get a half way clear picture, a mirror image.


I never ever win these giveaways, but it never hurts to try. This giveaway is for a pocket diaper from Snaps and Snails and is being given away on Dirty Diaper Laundry (check out their button on my side bar). You know how these things work, you have a slew of things you can do to comment and get entries and then hundreds of entries later the winner is announced, maybe I will get lucky this time??

My favorite thing about morning

Snuggles. Ethan is almost always the first one up and loves to just snuggle for a good 15 minutes before he starts his day. He is by far my most snugly (not sure if that is a word, but I think you know what I mean)

jkjjju u (Ethan putting his two sense in here)

Here is my mac capturing this mornings snuggles.
(don't mind me,wow that's some bad hair, I worked out this morning and my hair is everywhere!)

 Ethan started realizing I was taking pictures of him and wanted to take control, here is a bit of video. He is saying "mommy" when I try to take the mouse from him, but basically means mom, leave me alone, I got this under control.

I can't get enough of this boy!

October 22, 2010

11. wait. 12

Just the number of blog entries so far this month. I have doubled and tripled past month entries, I hope I can keep this up. I love just getting out a piece of me or my day one blog entry at a time. I type this as Trevor is just destroying Ethan right now with tickles...and now Landon has joined the tickle torture, I better go rescue my baby!

All about ME

I have a friend that came up with a great idea to help a group of friends, me included, get out of any sort of "rut" they/me might be in. Sort of like a support group, to cheer each other on and to keep us all accountable. What are we all doing, you ask. That's the beauty of this group, it is whatever you want to do. Whatever you can do to better yourself and give yourself some ME time.

This is all new, and for me it is the kick in the butt that I needed! The last two days I have put make up on. For most, you are probably thinking big deal, for me it is a HUGE deal because I can't even remember the last time I wore any make up! AND I did my hair two days in a row, again this is a HUGE deal for me. I don't even remember the last time I had done my hair two times in one week....let alone two times in one week....BACK....TO.....BACK. Maybe I am overreacting a bit here, but just wanted to say thanks to a great friend for the great idea and for helping me get my act together, now I hope I can keep it together!

Here is what a little bit of make up and clean hair can do for a girl

PS, you so do NOT want to see what my house looks like after me taking 45 minutes to shower, dress, put on makeup, and do my hair. Lets just say the boys had a hay day with my ME time!

Teenage Dream

I am not trying to go all Katie Perry on you here, okay I am totally a terrible liar. So, ya, a little bit of Katie Perry going on in this post. You know that song out by her about the teenage dream. I was once a teenager not that many years ago, and I too had a teenage dream. Think back to that crush you had when you were say, fourteen or fifteen, and the day dreams you would have. I always get a little smile thinking back. Maybe you even dated that crush, like I did. (a little bigger smile going on now) I will always remember the teenage dream that I would have about being able to snuggle up to that crush, all night, and wake up with him by my side the next morning. I know, kind of lame, but I am just being honest and letting you all know a daydream I use to have.

Back to Katie Perry, her song, Teenage Dream, came on the radio the other day and brought me right back to my teenage daydream. That boy that I wished would be by my side the next morning in that daydream. Now this song should not make anyone emotional, but knowing me, of course it did because right then I realized I was living my "teenage dream". I was no longer dreaming about it, but every morning I wake up next to that boy that I had always dreamed about waking up next to. That boy is now my husband.

I realized how easily I take this for granted now that it isn't a dream and is now such an amazing reality. That teenage dream has now turned to dreams of children, making a home, gray hairs, grandchildren (yes I said it, not that I am wishing my life away but I can not wait to have grandchildren), but still and always waking up next to that "boy".

October 18, 2010

Another bag & a Raggie Lovie

A custom diaper bag for a friend. She picked out the fabric and I sewed it up. The only thing different about this bag is that the strap is adjustable. My brain took awhile to figure this out, and once I did I felt so stupid because it was really easy. For some reason I just was not thinking clearly right away, but once it clicked all was well! I just got done with it and can't wait for her to be able to see and use it! I made a small diaper/wipe clutch from the scrap fabric that should hold 2-3 diapers and a small wipe case. Also, I am just trying something new out and made up a Raggie Lovie. It is like my 'Lil Lovies, in that it is the same size, but instead of minky it is made out of flannel and the edges are left raw. This will create a fraying effect and the more it is washed the cuter it will look! It is about 12"x12" in size, so perfect to just throw in the car seat with your little one!

Cool Weather

I don't know if it is just me, but for some reason when it starts to get colder outside I start to cook a lot more. Probably because we grill so much in the summer, that it seems I am not doing as much for supper. Living in Iowa, the grill is pretty much out of commission for a good 4-5 months depending on how hard and cold winter hits. If you have been following the recipes I have already posted, you probably noticed that we like chicken and eat a lot of it. This week is no exception, last night we had Chicken Enchiladas and tonight we are having Chicken Tuscany. Of course I wouldn't tell you what we are eating without giving you the recipes. The Chicken Enchiladas are something I grew up eating that my mom made and now I am making for our family. They have some ingredients in them that are not so colitis friendly, so I haven't make them in a long time but Ted requested them and I do believe in moderation and to have a little of something that is "off limits" is okay here and there.

Chicken Enchiladas

2Tb Butter (I used olive oil)
1/2 cup chopped onion (I used a white onion)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 4oz can green chiles, drained (I did not drain them, and then did not add the milk at the end)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
3 cups cooked chicken (I cubed up about 3 large chicken breasts)
1 cup shredded cheese (I didn't measure and just grabbed a handful)
8 tortillas
1/4 cup milk (I didn't use this)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large sauce pan melt butter, add onion and saute about 3 minutes, add garlic and cook another minute or until onion are opaque. Stir in chilies, sour cream, and soup. Set 3/4 cup of this sauce aside. In the remaining sauce, fold in the chicken and 1/2 cup of the cheese (I didn't add this and only did cheese on top). Warm tortillas. Fill tortillas with the chicken mixture, roll up, and place seam side down in a greased 12x8 in pan. Add milk to the sauce that you had set aside, and mix well. Spoon over top of the enchiladas, sprinkle with the remaining cheese and cover with foil. Bake for 20-25 minutes, uncover and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes.
For a side we usually do some type of rice, and then serve with salsa, avocado, sour cream, canned banana peppers (from our garden).

For tonight I am making Chicken Tuscany and this recipe is out of Favorite Brand Name Country Italian cookbook. If you don't have this cookbook, go buy it! It is one of the best cookbooks I own and everything that I have made out of it has been great and has become family favorites. Plus this was a go to book for me while I was nursing Trevor (he was extremely sensitive to dairy, even hidden dairy would upset his stomach) because so many of the recipes are dairy free. Not only that, but so many of them are not pasta dishes (but of course the pasta dishes in here are amazing!)

Chicken Tuscany

6 medium red potatoes, scrubbed and sliced 1/8 inch thick (I am using sweet potatoes tonight because I have some to use up)
12 ounces shitake, cremini, chanterelle and/or button mushrooms (I have a mixture of button and baby portebella)
4 Tb olive oil, divided
4 Tb grated parmesan cheese, divided (parmesan is very very low in lactose and easily digestible which is great for me now, but while nursing Trevor I just omitted this)
3 tsp minced garlic, divided
3 tsp minced fresh rosemary OR 1 1/2 tsp dried rosemary leaves, divided
salt and ground pepper
about 3 lbs fresh skinless pick of the chicken (for us, I am doing about 5.5 lbs and just skinless chicken breasts, not boneless)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Pat potatoes dry with paper towels. Toss potatoes and mushrooms with 2 1/2 Tb oil, 2 tb cheese, 2 tsp garlic, 2 tsp rosemary, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. In 13x9 inch baking dish, arrange potatoes in one layer, top with remaining 2 Tb cheese. Bake for 15 minutes or until potatoes are lightly browned, set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat remaining 1 1/2 Tb oil. Add chicken pieces. Season lightly with salt and pepper, sprinkle with remaining rosemary and garlic. Cook chicken 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until browned (do not crowd pan, if necessary, brown in two batches)

Arrange chicken on top of potato mixture, drizzle with any oil from skillet and return to oven. Bake 20 to 25 minutes longer or until chicken is no longer pink in the center. A nice salad is a great side to this meal.

October 12, 2010

Camera/Diaper Bag

I made this bag for the awesome mommy/photographer that took the pictures of my boys that are in my header and my side bar. I have a post from when she took these picture, in case you didn't get to read it or want to check it out again it is right HERE. Back to the bag, I am hoping that she will take some photos of it and let me use them, but here are some that I took with my back-up junker camera that is no longer a back up and just a junker (Ethan put it in the bathtub, right after he got in fully dressed...give the boy 5 seconds and you have a catastrophe...he is amazing!). Before it met it's last day in the bathtub I took these:

This bag is just like the other bags that I have made, except it is about an inch wider and about 2 inches shorter plus it has padding on all four sides and the bottom, with removable padded dividers. I loved the colors of this bag and really enjoyed sewing it!


Like I promised, a few recipes for the month...

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pancakes
These pancakes are LOADED with protein, such a great way to start the day!

1 1/4 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
1/4 cup chocolate PB2 (this is powdered peanut butter, find it at your health food section of your grocery store), can use any peanut butter if you can't find pb2
1 1/4 cup almond milk
2 scoops (or one pouch) chocolate Muscle Gain by AdvoCare (awesome protein powder!)

Mix all ingredients together, pour about 1/4 cup batter into a 350 degree skillet (or about medium heat). Flip once pancakes start forming bubbles. Enjoy! I put all extra pancakes on a cookie sheet and freeze for about an hour, then I put them in a freezer bag to heat up any time the boys want a snack, for future breakfasts, or for school lunches for Landon.

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole from Weelicious
This dish is so easy and so yummy!

1 Tb plus 1 tsp olive oil
1 small onion diced (we don't love onion, so I always half the amount of onion needed in a recipe)
1 cup mushrooms, sliced (great job for the little ones to help with, just give them a butter knife and let them chop!)
1 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 lb chicken breast, boneless/skinless, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup sour cream (I didn't have any so I used plain greek yogurt)
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded and a little to sprinkle on top
3 cups cooked wild rice (follow package directions, it takes about an hour to cook wild rice so plan ahead)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Oven medium heat, place one Tb olive oil in a large saute pan. Cook the onion for about 2 minutes.
Add the mushrooms and season with 1/2 tsp salt, cook for about 4 more minutes, until mushrooms are tender and onions translucent. Place this mixture in a bowl and set aside.
Heat 1 tsp oil in the pan and cook the chicken with the garlic powder and remaining 1/2 tsp salt until chicken is cooked through.
Combine mushroom mixture with the chicken, wild rice, and cheese and put in a 8x8 dish and sprinkle the top with a little cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Apple Sauce
I don't think recipes get much easier than applesauce, and it is sooooo good homemade hot or cold!
'Tis the season for apples, and since we have 5 mature apple trees loaded with apples (and 5 more young trees that the deer won't let grow!) we have been eating a lot of applesauce.
I don't know if this is really a recipe, because I don't know quantities. This is something that I just taste as it cooks.

Apples (the sweeter the apple the better), I have a large tote bag that I just fill up and it makes about 6 pints of applesauce.
Water, I add about 1/2 cup at a time. Add just enough water so the apples won't burn or stick but not too much were it would be soupy
Cinnamon, optional
Agave necture, optional (I used this in one batch, because the apples were very tart apples they have now become sweeter and I did not use it in the last batch I made)

Peel, core, and slice apples. I use the pampered chef one that does all three things at one time, saves so much time when doing a lot of apples but boy is it messy!
Add apples and a little water (you can always add more water so just a little at a time!) to a stock pot and cook on medium low. Also add the cinnamon at this time if you want it. Let the apples simmer until they are mushy, taste it and see if you want more cinnamon or agave. If you want it chunky you are done, if you want it smooth put into a food processor until smooth. Depending on how much you made you can either put the extra in the fridge, freeze it, or can it. If canning put into jars and put jars into a boiling water bath for 20 minutes. Refrigerate any jars that do not seal. Yum, enjoy!

Loving you is easy

Ted and I have recently gone through a little bit of emotional stress, I guess is how I will put it. Anyway, we were talking about it all the other day and Ted said something that just struck me so I have to share:)

Ted: "I have come to realize that a lot of things in life are hard, but loving you guys is easy."

Such a simple thing to say, but it was said with so much love and so much truth that it blew me away in a very good way! I thank God in so many ways for letting me share this life with such an amazing person.

October 5, 2010

Fall Harvest

It is that time of year again. We have had just beautiful weather (although some chilly nights/mornings!), and that means the combine has been running. Ted literally shines this time of year, I have never seen someone love doing something so much like I see him when he is farming. I don't know much about farming, but I do know that he is following his dreams and I am glad I get to be a part of it. You have probably all heard that a happy mom/wife, makes a happy house. Well the same is true for a happy dad/husband! Ted has a lot to balance, with a busy full time job, three busy boys, making some time for me, and finishing up this harvest season. He has done a very good job, always willing to take at least one of the boys with him while he is farming and taking that extra time to do family things. And he always makes that extra effort to show that he cares and appreciates me, which I really appreciate!

I wish I could get some pictures, as I really need to start documenting these moments with photos. I know Ted and I would love looking back at them! Unfortunately I dropped my camera and it is not wanting to focus very well for me. I can't even blame this one on the boys, now I have to figure out how to get it fixed. I am now putting this on the top of my "to-do" list!

Today I made tuna melts and this week will be making chicken and wild rice...look for the recipes soon. Totally a random post today, but just want to get it all down before another "MOOOMMM" and am needed!

October 2, 2010

New Month...

...means new recipes! With fall hitting hard right now, the oven and crock pot become my best friends! Fall cooking for us includes, soups and chilis, roasts and veggies, squash cooked all different ways, and APPLES! We have soooo many apples this year, and beautiful apples at that. We have two trees that have great baking apples and two that have such yummy eating apples. My goal this month is to come up with some creative ways to use our apples, as I come up with them I will post the recipes (if they are good, that is!).

Ethan can talk!

Yes, he has been saying words for a while, but just recently he finally started really talking and coping words. He is quite a bit behind his brothers in this area (they were talking in sentences by 16 months), but he is also quite advanced in other areas...like being able to scale the rock wall on our Menards playground set, by himself! It is so cute to see his personality come out as his vocabulary expands. Here are a few words I got on video the other night while we were waiting in the car while Ted was combining.

Mommy Push-ups

In case you were all wondering what a "mommy" push up looks like, here is some video of me just hanging out with the boys, doing some random pushups. When I went to save the video Landon said, "call the video Mommy Push-ups." Not sure how well you can actually see my push ups, but you get some good view of the boys (and fighting, hahaha)!