Friday, July 31, 2009

Lofty goals

So, today as I was checking my Facebook page I saw a comment posted by a friend from high school. He just made VP of sales and Markting and was checking off his list of goals to reach by 30! Wow! What a lofty goal!

My goals to reach by 30 have definitely changed in the past 4 1/2 years as a stay at home mom.This job definitely has its advantages and disadvantages as I imagine every job does. Just to name a few time to think about all those goals I have not yet reached, or should I say those goals that have changed the past 4 1/2 years. I have to admit that my goals don't reach nearly as high as a VP but they are still lofty goals- at least for me! I no longer have "goals to reach by the age of 30". I now have "goals to reach before the girls wake up" or "goals to reach before lunch time/nap time/ dinner time etc..."
2. We still have disagreements with fellow "coworkers" on how the "office" should be run 3. We don't necessarily always get a lunch break or much of a break period and there is definitely no clock out whistle! 4. we are on call 24 hours a day 5. There are no sick days or raises 6.We must act as referee, nurse, cook etc...
But as far as advantages- they far outweigh the disadvantages...1. We are on a flexible schedule 2. We don't have to tell someone when we have to use the restroom or take a break (if only all the "workers" would follow this rule) 3. We are leaving a legacy that will touch soo many more lives then just pushing papers at an office- We are irreplaceable! 4. We get to paint, color, watch cartoons and play all day! 5. We are often underappreciated but never unloved! Hugs are available at any time of day! 6. We can picnic right on the office floor 7. We never get in trouble for just sitting and reading a book outloud 8. We get to play dress up and live in a world of make believe of princesses and princes, carousels and mini trains and twirling 9. The photo ops are endless and priceless!
There are soo many more, but alas, my goal to actually feed the kiddos by 1 is fast passing me by so I better get that marked off my to list here soon!

So, I'm proud of David Alexander for making VP by the age of 30 and checking that off his "Goals by 30" list and I'm proud of me for getting things marked off my "daily goals" list! Here's to a happy Friday to all and good luck accompolising all the things on your to do list today or by the time you turn 30- even if it is just getting the toilet cleaned by 11 am : )

Here are my favorite pics of this week....

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Recipe wednesday

So, today we made chocolate chip oatmeal muffins. yumm! They are becoming a fast favorite of ours. Though I can't seem to decide where to file this recipe in my recipe box- its a muffin, so it could be a bread, but then I wonder if the chocolate chips don't classify it as a dessert? So, for now it's in my box under breads because, well it is a bread so in my book that also makes it a breakfast food! Can't go wrong with chocolate for breakfast : ) And with the oatmeal it makes it super moist and "healthy". Now most of you know by now that a recipe is just a jumping off point, at least in my book, but again, if it's out there someone must like it just the way it is so you don't have to change it or do it different at all. I personally don't like nuts, so never a nut you'll see in my kitchen, unless of course it's me!!
Here is the recipe....

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffins!

1 1/4 cups quick cooking oats
1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
3/4 cups packed brown sugar
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1 1/4 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla

Combine oats and milk, let stand 15 minutes
preheat oven to 400 degrees, grease muffin tins
Stir oil, egg, 1/2 cup brown sugar, chocolate chips, and 1/2 cup pecans into milk/oat mixture.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add oat mix to flour mix. Stir until Just Moist! Fill each cup 2/3 full. Sprinkle tops with remaining brown sugar and pecans. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean! Don't overbake!

Note, don't add too many chocolate chips as in this case more is not always better!

Enjoy for breakfast or any time of day!

Also, I've been looking for some summer evening dinners that aren't too hot since we have enough heat outside! So, this is my newest recipe I've added to my menu.

Chicken Salad Sandwich!

2-3 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 tblsp lemon juice
1 cup celary-chopped
Salt/pepper/all purpose seasonings to taste
1- 1 1/2 cup mayo (add by tbl till desired consistancy)
2 chopped hard boiled eggs

Mix all together and then gently fold in chopped eggs! Serve on Croussant with lettuce and tomato! I also served it with fresh green beans from my aunts garden, that I just cooked up on the stove with some bacon and then some deviled eggs! It was a pretty perfect summer meal. I look forward to making it again! Maybe next time we'll try eating it at a picnic at the park!

Enjoy and keep cooking!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Photo Booth Friday!

Today is Friday and here is a recap of our week!
Monday- Lexi woke up with her eye almost all swollen shut with poison ivy! Poor thing!
I woke up almost feeling better!
Also, learned that hair spray, tea tree oil, water/soap, ink remover don't get ink out of a leather sofa no matter how many people online say that it will. Learned that Rubbing Alcohol will. Thank the Lord! Not Thank You Lexi!
Tuesday- Visited the local library and picked up the last prize from the Summer reading program we finally finished! Was 16 hours of reading to the girls really worth what all we got? I'm debating... Here is a list of the prizes we won...
$1 free dip item from Hazel Hill Chocolate factory, Small ice cream with one mix in from Cold Stone creamery, Free kids meal from Applebees, Carlos O'Kellys, Cici's Pizza, Free small sno cone from Straight Water, Free ice cream cone from McDonalds, Free Pretzel from Aunt Annies Pretzals in the mall and a free game of bowling (excluding shoe rental). Of course we did this for both girls, so times 2! I guess since we are already reading to them anyways... why not get something for it right? I'll be checking into the Fall reading program at our local library too!
Went fishing at Cedar Crest- caught nothing! But Lexi sure is a fan of water as she just couldn't head for it fast enough! Our little fish!
Wednesday- not much here this day!
Thursday- I woke up with Poison Ivy. Went to the Shawnee County Fair, pet the rabbits and saw some chickens, geese and roosters- Oh joy! The projects are alway a delight to see as it brings me back to my fair days!

Friday- Went to the doctor for said poison ivy as my eye had swollen shut! I seem to only get it on my face and usually only on the right side of my face- explain that? Yeah, anyways... much worse this time as it's actually in my ear and spreading to my lower face! Oh joy, but not as much on my nose this time! Good thing too! So, more steroids for me- yeah! Hopefully in a couple of days I won't look so much like Quasi Modo- see picture if you dare. I know it looks like I've been in a horrible accident but alas, this is just how my wondeful body reacts to poison ivy-Nice!Hopefully said steroids will help the pain in my lower back too! Bonus!
Patrick came home from work feeling sick, so I'm sure he's now caught what I had- oh boy! What a bummer as tonight we had a date night planned- Jonny Carrinos and a movie... hmm, when was the last time we saw a movie? Maybe we'll have better luck next week for a date night!

Well, here is my favorite pictures of the week! Enjoy! Lexi twirling, and Zoe showing off her new dress! Lexi and I enjoying a sunset while Zoe fishes! Not too bad for a self photo!

Until next week....I hope your weekend is great!


Saturday night as we hit an almost record of overnight lows in the 50's and we did what any normal family would do... we went camping. We drove down to my dad's house in the 'burg and pitched a tent. It was a great time! Lots of first on this trip!

#1 First- It was Lexi's first camp out!
Complete with sleeping in the tent and everything.
If you can find her she's managed to fall off
her pillow, but didn't get smashed being sandwiched between
Patrick and Zoe! She did really well!!
# 2 First- It was Zoe's big night fishing as she managed to snag 2 little sun perch! Granted they weren't hardly big enough to keep, but it was her first! We kept them in a bucket since it was so late and unfortunately by morning they hadn't made it! So we missed the chance to learn how to clean a fish, but there is always next time if Zoe is as good as she was that night! We'll see! Here is Zoe with her first fish! It was great as long as she didn't have to actually touch it! Thank goodness for Grandpa!

Here are just a few more pictures that I really enjoyed from this past weekend camping! Here is Zoe "helping" dad get his fish off the hook! He caught the first one of the night! This is Lexi trying to figure out "what's in the bucket?" She enjoyed the fish as long as they didn't move. One time though they did splash in the bucket, get her wet and really freaked her out! Poor thing!

Of course... camping is not all it's cracked up to be as I finally caught that nasty stomach bug that was going around and spent most of Sunday morning visiting the comode- ugh! Our Sunday afternoon was spent shooting guns and just hanging out! I didn't notice till we got home that we apparently spent the night with a mosquito- not fun ! And of course there is always the poison ivy that we have to get too! I'm starting to think this camping thing is for the birds! Zoe on the other hand just thinks it's the best thing ever, so I suppose we'll keep doing because that's just what good parents do!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Photo Booth Friday!

Well, today is Friday and here is a quick review of our week! It's been a long week! It's usually a pretty boring week until mid week.

Monday- Laundry and grocery shopping day

Tuesday was spent baking cookies and Zucchini bread and then doing a great kids craft with Zoe. We built a "bear apartment" for Baby Bear out of a cardboard box. It was fun and Zoe has really enjoyed playing with it all week! It comes complete with button latch and even paper on the floor for him to sleep on! She feeds him his bowl full of special treats (beads).Soo much fun!

Wednesday I spent most of the day with a horrible headache that just wouldn't end and I ended up bowing to the porcelain throne, so we spent most of that day lazily watching movies- Cinderella 3 and Prince of Egypt. Always exciting.

Thursday we did a little garage saleing and we got some GREAT deals. The deal of the day though was this little orange dress for Zoe on the Left. It's a Children's Place dress still with the tags on, and I only paid $2 for it! Yeah! It looks great on her too! the other two dresses were only $1 each!

Below are some more pics of great deals I got at the same garage sale! What a great sale! I got Zoe 2 long sleeved winter shirts, some cute little black winter boots and of course 2 little button up sweaters that will dress up any outfit this Fall/Winter! Although my favorite outfit is the one she's wearing in this picture -$1 for both the shirt and the pants. Zoe's favorite purchase of the day though is her new barbies on the left-$2.50 for all 5 of them!

I picked up a white shirt, 12-18 month Gymberie dress and a little winter sweater for Lexi at the sale too! $3 for all of it!

Friday was spent picking up the house for our company that night- The Abernathy's! We've really enjoyed getting to know them and love getting to spend time with them every chance we get!

So, other then Wednesday, it was a GREAT week! I hope you all had a great week too! More to come next week, thanks for spending a little time with me!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Movie Review Tuesday- Inkheart and Penelope

Today I was going to do a quick review of a couple of movies we watched this weekend. First I watched Inkheart while Patrick was working late into the night, or should I say morning?

Inkheart- starring Brendan frasier and is about a man who can "read" book characters into existance! What a great idea! I would love to have that ability! Especially those characters like Mary Poppins that would just be wonderful to have around the house! Of course if I could "read" characters to life I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be reading those kinds of books, but hey the movie was full of surprises and adventure! And the plot thickens as you learn that when a character comes out one must also go back in, so we find the star looking all over for a certain book that he seems to have "read" his wife into somehow and now he must find it and her and make the world right again. Plus you get to see some familiar characters and storylines come to life. I personally liked the scene portraying the "Wizard of Oz" complete with twister and even a "Topeka" sign. It was great and of course it ends well b/c well it wouldn't sell if it didn't! So, I give it 3 stars

Penelope, starring Christina Ricci and even Reese Witherspoon, was the movie Zoe and I watched on our Rainy Monday! What a surprisingly good movie! Now, I admit, I like these kind of corny movies, so thankfully I have two girls so I have an excuse to watch "family" movies. This is a cute movie that has a wonderful lesson- that beauty is on the inside and that it doesn't matter what other people think of us as much as it matters what we think of ourselves! This movie I also give 3 stars to.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Happy Firecracker Day!

Ok, so it's been a while since I've updated, but hey... life keeps going...

We started our Independence Day once again with a bike ride over to Collins Park for the annual 4th of July Parade. This year the girls got to ride over in our new bike trailer! What a hit! As always, great parade, lots of candy and wonderful friends to visit with. Here is our family picture of us at the parade. I love candid shots, they always show the personality of each person in it!

That evening after a long nap, fireworks and playing in puddles, we went out to the lake with some more friends to celebrate in the traditional style-brats, beer and big bangs!

Zoe is her father's daughter and loves blowing up all sorts of things. Lexi on the other hand was actually scared of them. She shakes and cries. It was not fun for her this year, perhaps next year she'll be just as in love with the 4th as the rest of us are!

Now to catch up from my long absence of blogging...

July 3rd was spent finally using my fresh farmers market rhubarb and strawberries in my all time favorite pie! I'll even include the recipe for all those that would like to try it! This is also my very first lattice crust! This was our special dessert after Zoe's special requested dinner of pork chops, mashed potatoes and rolls.

Here's a picture to go along with it. Of course I always seem to forget that fruit pies tend to bake over in the oven, but then again when else do I ever clean my oven? Thank goodness for the self cleaning cycle!

Easy Pie Crust Recipe
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup oil, plus 1-2 tblsp
1/4 cup milk (generous 1/4 cup)
stir together flour and salt. pour oil and milk into flour mixture and mix well
Form ball and roll between waxed paper.

Rhubarb Pie Recipe
4 cups chopped rhubarb (3 cups if using strawberries too)
2 cups strawberries (optional)
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 tbsp flour
1 tbsp butter
Preheat oven to 450 Degrees
Combine flour and sugar and put 1/4 of it in the bottom crust. Add rhubarb and strawberries, top with rest of flour/sugar mix. Break butter into small pats and dot on top of pie. Top with top crust. Bake 15 minutes on lowest rack, then reduce temp to 350 degrees and bake 40-45 minutes on middle rack.
Depending on which you are making, either a deep dish or regular dish pie, ingredients will change the amounts of rhubard and strawberries only.

Enjoy! Please let me know if you tried the recipes and liked them!

For those of you that have wondered what kind of Expo we spent our rainy day in Chicago at, maybe this will help!