Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What’s Been Going On?

Well, here’s a picture (or 11) of what’s keeping me away from the computer these past few days.  And it’s also what’s going to keep me away for the next few days.  Maybe weeks.  Who knows how long this will take….

This is my living room furniture.  All in one big ‘pile’.


We’re Rick’s pulling up all our carpet to put down new hard wood laminate flooring. 


We’re putting the same flooring all throughout our first floor, which means the kitchen will be next.  While the floors are up in the kitchen, I’ll be painting the walls. 

Yellow.  One of these yellows.  (the colors are crappy in the picture)

Oh, and maybe one day painting those cabinets a nice creamy white color. Maybe.


While we’re in a state of mid-construction, Jack is forced to wear his new boots.  He LOVES his boots, so that isn’t a hardship. 


While the sub floor is showing, I decided to write out some scriptures.  We’re supposed to stand on the word of the Lord, right?



Now, everyone who ever walks on our floors, and anyone who ever owns this house will be standing on a firm foundation. 


Jack wants to help with EVERY step.  He’s a pretty good helper too.  Rick is *mostly* patient with him., too.


He was the first one to walk on the new floor.


He even got to help pound in the boards.  What a good helper!


Someday, hopefully before Christmas, I’ll show you our AFTER pictures.  I can’t wait! 

Yes, we’ll have mismatched woods in our home.  I can live with that!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Happy Friday to You

I have a few pictures for you today. 

This week’s theme for Foto Friday is “silhouette”.  (which I never spell correctly the first time!)  I was going to take a new picture of Jack this week for this prompt, but I was too lazy  decided to pick one from my archives instead.  This is one of my favorites.  Jack was 6 months here. My little virtuoso. 



A friend of mine (and her friend) started a new photo challenge. This one has prizes, so I thought I’d get over my fear of submitting photos alongside REAL photographers and submit one this week. I like to support my friends, so I’m only partially in it for the prizes.  Here is my best photo from this week.

Since we live very close to a military airport, we see a LOT of KC135s and C5s.  They routinely do “touch and go’s”, which is when they come in for a landing, but just touch down, then go back up in the air again.  They’ll circle around and do that over and over again.  Each time, this is the view that we get. (This is a C5 –the largest airplane in operation)


And here is a picture “just because.”  Last weekend, we went to Gramma’s to watch the OSU game.  (they lost in OT)  At one point, Jack and Gramma both had on their Ohio State scarves and were reading a book together (during commercials I’m sure – Gramma’s a big Buckeye fan).  I thought the image was super sweet and wanted to share it with you today.


Have a great Friday!  And a really great weekend. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Squirt Gun Art

PA180172I saw this on a blog that I read, and I thought it looked like a lot of fun. Since Rick likes to go shoot his guns, I thought Jack would be excited to shoot his own guns at a target.


I did this once with just Jack in our backyard and it didn’t turn out so well.  Mostly because I didn’t follow the directions. That’ll happen.  I used water with a little bit of food coloring in it instead of just food coloring.  The result was a very pale color left on the paper.  You could barely see it. 


This time, when Cage and Jack got together for their most recent Art Date, I changed things up and got a much better result.   Instead of using water and food coloring, I used water and tempera paint.  It made for a much bolder color on the paper.  Since I only had three squirt guns, we used yellow, blue, and red paint.  Obviously, if you try this at home, you can use any colors you want to use. 

Cage and Jack painted with squirt guns today

It was a fun activity for the boys to do.  It was definitely a workout for their fine motor skills and eye hand coordination.  Luckily, they didn’t get too much paint off of the paper.  At least, I hope they didn’t!


Thanks, Bekah, for letting us come over and have another Art Date with you!  We can’t wait until next time.  My Pinterest board is filling up quickly with ideas for our little guys.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Scripture, Snapshot, & a Growth Chart Moment

Jack cleaned out his toys and donated all these toys to other little boys who don't have toys.

Yesterday was a HUGE Growth Chart Moment for Jack. We cleaned out his big toy box. and donated toys to Goodwill.    While we picked through every last truck, train, and car, I asked if he wanted to give it away or keep it.  More times than not, he said “give it away!” I told him that there were other little boys who didn’t have any toys who might like to have the ones he didn’t want anymore.  Little did I know how generous my son is!

If I had to guess, I’d say that 3/4 of his toys were placed in the ‘give it away’ pile. 

One toy he chose to put in that pile made me tear up a little.  He has a toy Mack from the movie Cars who he plays with All.The.Time.  He has a Lightning McQueen that goes with it (Mack’s trailer opens up for Lightning to drive up into).  When he put Mack in the ‘give it away’ pile, I said, ‘But you play with this all the time!  What about lightning?  Where will you put him now?”  He looked up and said, “Oh yeah!” He then ran to get his Lightning McQueen race car and put it in the pile with Mack.  I guess they go together.   He made me cry a bit with that one.

For clarity, I kept saying “you know, you’ll never see these toys again.  Ever.”  He didn’t seem to care about that.  He kept saying that other boys needed toys to play with. 

I have a lot to learn, and I think he will be the one to teach me!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Foto Friday–Kids & Fall


I didn’t take any new pictures this week for this prompt, so I had to go back into my archives.  In truth, I didn’t actually TRY to take new pictures this week.  I immediately thought about these pictures that I love, so that’s what I’m sharing.

*Picture Overload*


Jack’s first Halloween.  9 1/2 months old. Our LIttle Jack-O-Lantern.

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Jack’s first fall. Oct 2009. 9 months old.

One of my all-time favorites of Jack.  9 months. Oct. 2009

Fall 2010.  21 months

I like to call this one “mom of a boy.” This (like all of these pictures) was before I got a new camera.  My little 5 year old Sony Cybershot was a pretty good camera-I didn’t do any editing to this one. 


Jack’s 2nd Halloween.  Same Costume.  That’s called “getting your money’s worth!” Oct 2010.

Cute little Punkin'

Last year we went to a pumpkin farm that had a corn sand box.  Jack loved it.  This editing is pretty funky for me, but I like how it makes the corn look soft and fluffy.

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Healthified Stuffed Shells & Roasted Broccoli

This is what I had for dinner last night. 


Doesn’t it look delicious???  It’s one of my new healthy recipes I’ve recently pinned.  It’s actually supposed to be Sausage Stuffed shells, but I bought ground turkey and ground sirloin, so that’s what I use.  It also has hidden carrots in it, so it’s a good one for sneaking veggies into your kids or husbands who don’t get enough veggies.


Have you ever roasted broccoli?  It is one of the easiest things in the world to do.  If I can, I roast all my vegetables for dinner. They taste divine roasted!  It’s getting more expensive to buy fresh produce, but whenever I do bring home fresh peppers, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, or asparagus I roast them in the oven on my stone. 

If you’re a lazy cook mom pressed for time, you should totally try this.  Just throw the veggie on the stone/baking sheet, drizzle some olive oil on them, sprinkle as much salt and pepper as you want, and stick them in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes.  Really.  It’s a Fix and Forget it type of meal.  I have been known to put chicken breasts or pork chops on the stone beside the veggies and cook them all together.  30 minutes later you have an awesome dinner with practically no energy put into it.  My kind of cooking!


This recipe is copied straight from Eat Better America, with my notes in red.  It’s a very yummy, pretty healthy dinner!


Healthified Sausage-Stuffed Shells

24 jumbo pasta shells (from 12-oz box)
1 lb lean Italian turkey sausage, casings removed (ground turkey/beef)
1 container (15 oz) light ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded reduced-fat Italian cheese blend (8 oz)
1 box (9 oz) Green Giant® frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed to drain
1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
3/4 cup finely shredded carrots (1 medium)
1 jar (25.5 oz) Muir Glen® organic Italian herb pasta sauce (Kroger brand pasta sauce)

1 Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. Cook and drain pasta as directed on package, omitting salt.

2 In 10-inch nonstick skillet, crumble sausage. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until no longer pink; drain.

3 In medium bowl, stir ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the Italian cheese blend, the spinach and basil until well mixed. Stir in carrots and sausage.

4 Spread about 1/2 cup of the pasta sauce over bottom of baking dish. Spoon about 3 tablespoonfuls sausage mixture into each pasta shell. Arrange shells, filled sides up, on sauce in baking dish. Pour remaining pasta sauce over stuffed shells. Spray 15-inch piece of foil with cooking spray; cover shells with foil.

5 Bake 40 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining 1 cup Italian cheese blend. Bake uncovered 5 to 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

*serving size is 2 shells

Thank You, Kim!

I love my bloggy friend Kim.  She has taught me a lot about photography and photoshop.  I just finished reading her post here, ran to open my Photoshop, and created this! 

It’s been 6 years since Rick and I went on our honeymoon.  We stopped at a very large store that he LOVES on our way out of the state.  I made us take these two pictures with the hopes that one day I would figure out a way to join us into one picture.  6 years and 2 months later, I finally figured out how to do it!

Thanks, Kim!

Before: Wedding and Honeymoon 089Wedding and Honeymoon 088


Layer masks.  Who would have thunk it? 

 (I did this pretty quick, but it’s pretty good.  I’d do a little more fixing before I printed it, but this is all the time I had)

Thanks, Kim!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

April Date Night–in September

I've seen better days, but here we are.

So we stopped dating each other. I love my husband, and he loves me, but we’re homebodies.  I had no idea this ‘one date a month’ idea was going to be so hard to do!  I’m sure I have new readers since January, so go check out our first date this year and see what I’m talking about. 

We’re not doing so well with our date nights.  The April ticket kept staring at us from the wall calendar, but we never planned anything.  (our March Date Night didn’t happen until July) It’s either because we’re too cheap to hire a sitter or buy dinner, or it’s because we’re too lazy to plan anything.  I bet it’s a good mix of both. 

Happy day at the zoo

For our April date (that happened in September), I decided to plan something really fun.  I found a site called Dating Divas that has a ton of great ideas for dates.  I found most of them to be more appropriate for extroverts or groups, but there are a few floating around their site for the introverts like Rick us.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I decided to use their Bookstore Date idea. I printed their cards and didn’t tell Rick what we were doing until we were enjoying our elegant desserts (McDonald’s ice cream cones) in a romantic atmosphere (sitting in the truck in the parking lot). We really know how to do up date night right!

Once you’re in the bookstore, you search out certain types of books and bond over them.  It’s really fun.  Here is a BRIEF description of the tasks.


First, we found some recipes that we would like to fix for our spouse sometime.  I’m pretty sure we’ve forgotten all about these recipes and they’ll probably never get fixed, but it did prove that we know each other well.  I picked an enchilada dish for him and he picked a lasagna dish for me.


We needed to find children’s books that we remembered from our childhood, but that our spouse hadn’t read before. That was tough!  This is Rick’s book he found for me. 


And this is my book I found for him.  I couldn’t believe he’d NEVER heard of this book.  The whole time I was reading it, I couldn’t stop thinking about what a ‘downer’ this book is.  I’m surprised that I remembered it so well. 


Another thing we had to find was a book on somewhere we’d like to go someday.  I’ve been to Great Britain  before, but I’d LOVE to go back.  I do believe it’s my favorite place in the entire world.  I especially fell in love with Wales and all its castles.  (The castle on the Wales book I’ve actually been to).  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         . OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Rick would LOVE to go to Ireland. He wants to see the country and visit the home of Guinness.


Finally, one of the tasks was to find a book that made you laugh.  That was much harder than I thought it should be.  After several failed attempts with some joke books, this book finally hit the mark.  It is so funny what text messaging autocorrect will create.  I recommend this book if you don’t mind a few bad words and you want a good belly laugh. 


This date was just what we needed.  It cost a whopping $3 for the whole evening (thanks to Gramma watching Jack), and it was a great time to just be together and reconnect.  Rick appreciated the thought that went into planning the date, and he said he’d try to plan the next one.  I’m not holding my breath, and I kind of already have the next one planned.  (Movie night to see Courageous).   




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