Friday, March 29, 2013

Pinterest

I had forgotten that I was posting when I tried new recipes.  So, here is an update.  I think I included all of the pins I have tried, but I will have to be more diligent in the future!

Ingredients113-400x267I have tried Crockpot Chicken Fajitas.  You slice all the onions and peppers still and put them in the bottom of the crockpot.  Then, you season the chicken breast/meat and put it on top of the veggies.  After cooking for 4-6 hours, you remove the chicken and shred it.  I kept the chicken separate because then people can decide how much chicken they wanted and how many veggies they wanted.  You could also dice this, but I enjoyed it shredded.  It was a keeper.

 

4308239718_abcae266c6_oI made the Restaurant Salsa by the Pioneer Woman.  It appealed to me because 1) I LOVE the salsa at a Mexican restaurant, and 2) it used canned rather than fresh tomatoes, and I do not like needing to peel tomatoes.  It was pretty good.  It may have needed just a touch more salt, but overall, I think it was a winner.  It does make a large batch – 3 small mason jars (12 cups, I think).  My mom suggested freezing it if I thought it would go bad.  Might try that.

 

2545107110_4117df97d0_oI found a new favorite side thanks to my friend, Christi.  We went to Cookbook club at the library and talked a bit about food and a bit about life.  I mentioned I had the Pioneer Woman’s cookbook, and although I thought many dishes looked good, I had yet to try many.  (It is a beautiful cookbook full of pictures from her life on the ranch.)  Christi told me to try her Crash Potatoes.  It was a winner – EASY and DELICIOUS!

 

granola bars4I also made No Bake “Food Storage” Granola Bars (long name!)  I thought they were easy to make and pretty good.  My complaint is that they crumbled easily, so it wasn’t a very good snack to let the kids munch on as they mosey around the house.  If I was any good at tweaking recipes, I would do that to this one.  What I liked about it originally is that it had things that I have on hand – hence the name “Food Storage” granola bars.  The idea was good, but end product was not as sturdy as I had hoped. 

 

 

Oh, and one more thing to mention…. it is not food related.  We bought an iPad when we cashed in some visa card points.  I had looked for things that I thought Madison might enjoy.  I have a puzzle game, a letter activity, a drawing and coloring app, but her FAVORITE thing I found is this website (not an app) where I lady has recorded herself reading books aloud – not animated or done-up.  It just shows the book and you hear her voice.  It does make me jealous that Madison prefers that over me at times, but we compromise, and she gets one on the iPad and one from me (or Jeremy) before bed.  The website is http://justbooksreadaloud.com/  It is awesome!  Enjoy this if you have kids! (A bonus is that, currently, Jeremy has a cold and little voice, so this is a perfect way for him to “read” stories with Madison.)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Saturday

Saturday was a bit surreal for me, and I am just now getting ready to post.  I talked to my mom about 8:30am just about random things.  I got a call back from her at 9:15am.  She had called the squad to come take my dad to the hospital.  He has had a lot of issues, mainily with his back, and none have resulted in a trip in the ambulance.  I figured this was serious.  I tried calling my mom to see if she wanted me to come sit with her, but it went the voice mail.  Not long after the phone rang.  It was my dad!  He said, you called me while I was in the ambulance.  I just wanted you to know I love you.  I let him know I loved him too, and that he had scared me.  Then, he said, Well I better go, they don’t know I am on my phone.  Sneaky, Dad!  I realized, then, that mom never got my message, and I decided to just go up. 

I am so glad I could be there just waiting in the room with them.  Dad had presented stroke like symptoms, which they declared a TIA (or reversible stroke).  There was no damage shown on the CAT scans and all the blood tests and other testing they did came back clear. What a blessing!  It was  a super scary thing. 

In the meantime, Jeremy carried on with the things we had planned for the day.  His parents ended up coming over to hang out, too, which I was glad about.  It meant that he wasn’t alone with the girls, and that he could spend some time with his folks. (I end up seeing them frequently since they watch the girls a lot, but Jeremy usually misses out.)  They had lunch, and then went to the Easter Egg Hunt at the park. 

They said Ellie seemed to know exactly what to do.  When she saw an egg, she just bent down and picked it up.  Such a big girl!

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Madison is a seasoned pro.  She knows that finding an egg means finding some candy treats!  She is a candy-a-holic, but I figure she gets it honestly.  Maybe I can just help her reign it in a bit before she is in her 30s and still battling the call of the candy (well, mostly just chocolate for me nowadays!). 

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They saw some of their cousins there as well – Landen and Cale!

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They even got to meet the Easter bunny!  This was a first for Madison.  Jeremy said she enjoyed seeing it, but Ellie was a little leery – and who wouldn’t be!  I think in the one picture, both the bunny and Madison realized that her Easter basket had tipped over… at least I think that is what they are pointing at :)

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My dad came home from the hospital on Monday, and we are praying that he won’t need to return via ambulance for a long, long time… or ever would be even better!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Ellie is a WALKER

….officially.  She has been walking – cruising on furniture, holding fingers, between people, etc.  But Thursday was the first day I would say she was a walker.  She can get up from a seated positionDSC_1509

She can move anywhere she wants.  She can even DANCE!  (Although she still has more fun doing this … her high leg lifts … while holding hands.)  She and Madison were on the dance floor together after supper tonight.  And last night they were playing chase down and back the hallway.

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Here are just a few more pictures I took at supper to entertain myself tonight…  Ellie with her praying hands

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Madison smiling for the camera

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Ellie’s “O” face

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I hope everyone has a great weekend. 

We Got Outside

Okay… we didn’t get outside today.  It was last Friday, and I just never blogged about it.  Madison thinks she must always wear a sundress, so I hounded her to get warmer clothes over and under her dress and socks on before her sandals.  In the end, she was covered, but I think she is a summer girl.  The loved breathing fresh air, and I have to admit, it wasn’t as cold as I imagined it was going to be.  Here are some pictures from the day:

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Weekend Review

This was a great weekend.  (Well, in my opinion.)  Saturday was picture day.  Ellie is 14 months and Madison is a little past 3 years old.  I know you are “supposed” take pictures at milestones (i.e. 1 year, 15 months, 3 years, etc), but that hasn’t been the tradition here.  We do it when we get to it!  (That may be my new motto!  Whoa, I am in a quirky mood right now; watch out!)  Anyway… It actually went really well.  Our pictures were at 9:15am.  Ellie cooperated; Madison cooperated; and Jeremy and I were pleased.  Here are a few of our favorites:

When we got home, Tara and Grace came over for lunch and to play a little before nap time.  I miss Tara and the time we spent walking and talking in Columbus, so it is so nice when we can connect back here.  I am lucky that her family lives in the area we moved to!  I have no pictures, but the girls seemed to have fun in princess dresses, with shopping carts, and a little arguing about whose is whose.  That is three-year-olds for you.

The girls took good afternoon naps, while I hung out here, and Jeremy picked up a few things at the store.  During their nap, I had a phone call from my Ashland friend, Laura.  She said she and her family were in our town… just down the street!  We met them there shortly after the call and invited them to come play a little at our house.  Teagan and Madison played Dora house for most of the time they were here.  Teagan is MUCH better at that than I am!  It was a day of friends visiting, and it was so good!

Sunday we played with friends in the church nursery since we had nursery duty.  Afterwards we went to Jeremy’s parent’s house.  Jeremy’s sister, Jen, is in town for a few days, and we wanted to spend some time with her.  There were a few other extended family members that joined us for lunch as well – David, Marianne, Erin, and Kristen.  After naps, we went outside to play for awhile.  The day was PERFECT -  sunshine, breezy, warm.  It was everything that I look forward to because we have a winter here.  (I do like winter, too, but the changing seasons make everything more exciting.)  Madison ran in her dress and barefeet bringing back a feeling of freedom I think she had forgotten – or maybe tries to relive every day in our house in dresses and no socks.

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Madison said Jen is so fun. I love playing with Jen!

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Ellie discovered things she wouldn’t have remember from last year.  We touched the grass. 

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We piled rocks. 

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We took laps (her walking, holding my hand) around the house.  We gave wagon rides.  DSC_1481

And she tried walking all by herself. She was so proud!

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It was a good day. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Joy

I will write more later, but I just wanted to leave you with two images from our Sunday…

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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Dog-tired

So, Madison has decided to set her internal clock somewhere around 6:20ish.  I think it is a little eary personally for a three-year-old.  I know others would beg to differ.  Regardless, I am on a mission to reprogram her.  I have been reading online about what other people have tried, and this is what I cam up with 1) move her bed time up just a little, 2) shorten her nap, 3) move her nap a little earlier in the afternoon, or 4) maybe she no longer needs a nap. 

As an attempt to test #4 (or because there were no other appointment times), I scheduled her a haircut for 2:30 yesterday.  We are getting the girls pictures taken this Saturday, and I thought her hair could probably benefit from a trim.  I took Ellie over to my dad’s house for a nap.  Madison and I went to the Dollar store to spend some of her birthday money – a little mommy-daughter date.  She purchased a new (fake) Barbie and some real (kid’s) makeup.  Then, we had her hair cut.  It is shorter, but it still feels long to her.  It looks a bit thicker, and I think it will look better for the pictures.  We then picked up frostys for my dad and her to share.  She kept going and going. 

On the way home from my parent’s house (a distance of about 10 minutes), she fell dead asleep.  I mean she was so asleep that I unstrapped her and carried her rag doll body in to the couch.  I set her down and she said, “I want something to drink.”  By the time I got Ellie inside and filled her glass of milk, this is what I found…

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I let her nap for about 20 minutes like that before attempting to wake her up.  I rarely have had to work that hard to wake her up.  Yep, I think my little girl still needs her nap.  I’ll have to test the other three ideas out. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

One more for fun

The girls are playing together more nowadays.  Madison can either be loving – putting her arm around Ellie, kissing her – or not so loving – pushing her out of the way, dumping water on her face in the tub.  Either way, they are amusing to watch interact and grow together.  Here they were coloring today:

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Thick and Chewy Double Chocolate Cookies

dsc_0688So, I was inspired to post about the pinterest pins that I try.  I figure if I am pinning something to my boards, it is worth trying.  Well, I apply this to any food related items.  I pin many kids ideas, crafts, and household ideas that never get looked at much.  There are a few of those I’ve tried, too – such as the colored bubbles and easy cleaning tip for George Foreman grills.  This weekend, I tried a recipe for Thick and Chewy Double Chocolate Cookies (could the name be any longer?).  As I made them, I questioned whether I would keep the recipe.  It requires melting down semi-sweet Baker’s chocolate squares in the microwave, which is an extra step and an extra dirty dish.  Also, I rarely have that on hand, so I would have to buy it special.  I made only a half recipe because I had only bought one box of the Baker’s chocolate, and the full recipe requires two (which I didn’t realize).  You also have to let the dough set for about 30 minutes to get fudgy.  All that said, this are fantastic for a serious chocolate craving.  I also decided they would be good with peanut butter chips or white chocolate chips in them instead of the semi-sweet chips, depending on your craving.  So, I would say this one is a keeper.  Here is the link for anyone wanting a new chocolate cookie recipe

All Dressed Up For Church

We got all dressed up on Sunday.  Madison in her Christmas dress that she loves to wear – thank goodness it is washable!  She gave a silly face:

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Ellie got decked out in Madison’s Easter outfit from two years ago.  I would have taken one with her standing in her sparkly shoes, but she was not letting me put her down.  Instead, I balanced her on my legs and got a pretty good smile:

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I may try to post a bit more later, but if not, have a great Monday night!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Land of the Living

It has been a long time. (Do I start every blog that way??)  I have a valid excuse for at least some of it.  Ellie and I came down with some kind of cold.  Within four days, hers had progressed to an ear infection.  (Side note: I learned from the doctor that the reason so many kids get ear infections is the tube in the ears that drains fluid is horizontal.  As we age, the tubes begin slanting downward to drain better.  Just so you know…)  She is now on medication.  Mine had left me stuffy in my head, ears, and throat, voiceless (or mostly), red, watery eyes, and miserable!  I went to the doctor; he said it was a cold.  I figure that was not worth whatever I will end up paying!  I am finally on the mend.  I can talk, and I can breathe.  I am back among the living!

In the meantime, we played Dora house.  Both girls LOVE it.  Madison can imagine all kinds of things happening.  Ellie just knows she should hold a character and say (as loudly as possible) “HI!”  while pounding it on the floor of the house.  It is wonderful.  It requires little dialogue from me, but I am needed nonetheless.

Always  time for beauty in this house, Madison has said, “I am going to fancy me up, Mommy”  And this is the end product:

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Ellie is never one to be left out.  She has been able to string necklaces on herself for quite some time.  She has a little more trouble with the rings, and she must need her tongue to help concentrate.  This is the end product (sometimes there is even more bling if you can believe it!):

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Madison made sure to include me in the fancy-ing up time as well.  You can’t see the clips as well in my hair because 1) it was a self photo, and 2) many are in the back.  I am pretty sure there were at least 10 because Ellie was helping, too.

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We have also had a few picnics/tea parties.  I try to plan them around snack times so we have a good reason to eat for real.  This was the latest.  Madison was helping Ellie with her food, not usually necessary, but entertaining.

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We also were busy visiting people.  It was great fun, but it was good to finally be home for a bit.  Here is the run down…

  • Tuesday – over to make new friends with Gretta (age 3) and her twin sisters (age 9 months)
  • Wednesday – girls to Grandma and Papa Yoh’s
  • Thursday – over to visit with Grandpa Ediger
  • Friday – over to play with Hannah, Naomi, Miriam, and Isaac
  • Saturday – over to play with Sam, Lilli, Maggie, Analeia, and Judah
  • Sunday – church and Sunday school
  • Monday – over to play with Landen and Cale (Ellie went to the doctor)
  • Tuesday – over to Grandma and Grandpa DeeDee’s
  • Wednesday – girls to Grandma and Papa Yoh’s
  • Thursday – stayed home
  • Today (Friday) – errands and home

That is why I haven’t blogged as well.  I have been recovering during nap time from all the morning excitement.  It was so much fun to have so many playdates.  The girls enjoyed it, and I enjoyed the chance to connect with others.  Until next time, and hopefully, sooner than last time…..