Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Summer Projects

J and I have enjoyed working on little projects together this Summer. Today we painted a birdhouse together. I allowed him complete freedom to paint it how ever he wanted...purple, green, and blue...why not! He was so cute after we finished, he called out the window "okay birds you can come eat now, your house is painted".
Tomorrow we will look out our window while eating breakfast and see if the birds are eating their breakfast too.

Monday, June 28, 2010

mini biscuits

What's better than a plate of hot biscuits with honey drizzled over the top?  Two plates of biscuits! :) My husband offered to stay home with the boys last night so I could do some errands by myself. He's so sweet. So before I left I made up a quick batch of biscuits and heated up some of the turkey noodle soup that I had in the freezer. This way I know they won't eat junk for dinner.
I used the recipe from my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook...
|3 cups of flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup butter
1 cup of milk
Preheat your oven to 450 deg. F. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center of flour mixture. Add milk all at once. Using a fork, stir just until mixture is moist. You don't want to over work your dough!
Turn dough onto lightly flowered surface. Knead dough by folding and gently pressing it for four to six strokes until dough holds together. Roll dough flat until it is one inch thick. To cut the dough use a biscuit cutter...or if you don't have one use what ever clean round thing you have. Ha Ha...
See, I don't have a biscuit cutter so I'm using one of baby N's clean bottles. You have to be creative and use what you have! These made cute mini biscuits.
J wanted to get in on the action too. He loves to help Mommy in the kitchen. :)
Now place your dough circles slightly apart on your ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 10-14 min. or until golden brown.

Remove from oven and serve warm. I also like to drizzle a little honey over mine. :)
 By the looks of this picture you would think I never feed my kids. I promise I do! :) J could not wait for the biscuits to come out. Baby N just goes where the food is.
I think these mini biscuits would also work well if you sliced them and turned them into ham sandwiches. Wouldn't that be great for a brunch? I think so. They were also great with my cup of coffee this morning.

So I had a great time shopping and I found several cute things that I will blog about later. yay! The Hubs and the boys had a great time too, especially with nice full bellies. 

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Muthering Heights: Marriage Tips From the Crusie Ship - Installment 2: Energize Your Marriage!

I was a guest over at Muthering Heights. We met on the cruise and had fun chatting about our blogs. I hate seeing myself on video, but it's was a lot of fun to be a part of. Hope you enjoy...or at least get a laugh at me being a goober on film. ;)
Muthering Heights: Marriage Tips From the Crusie Ship - Installment 2: Energize Your Marriage!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

What to do with all the toys!

So I wanted to show you how I have organized some of the boy's toys. We have a finished basement that I turned into a playroom. Most of the boy's toys are down there, but a few need to stay upstairs in the living room. Here is a picture of the book case in the living room.

First I sorted through all the toys and decided which ones I wanted upstairs and which ones needed to stay in the playroom. I also threw away anything that was broken or from a kids meal. I also donated some toys to Goodwill. I did this while J was asleep and got rid of the bags of things that were going away asap. No need for a fight, and he has not even missed a toy!
Then I sorted the living room toys into groups...all the cars together, blocks together, legos, you get the point. Then I went to the store in search of storage containers that I thought would hold up to my boys. I wanted something with a lid and was see-through.
Then I labeled each bin and also added a picture of what was stored inside. My three year old can't read yet so the labels are pointless, but he can see the pictures. It's important for him to learn organizing skills and how to take care of his things.

I was able to use stickers for some of the boxes and I drew the others. You could also cut out pictures from a toy magazine, and you can type your labels. My printer is not working right now so I just wrote the labels myself. Then I taped them to the front of each box using clear packing tape. This is nice because you can change the labels around as the toys change.

I organized the books too. My sons favorite ones are in a basket next to the book case. He kept pulling all of them off the shelf when he was searching for the one he wanted. So far having his favorite ones (car books) in a basket on the floor has made his search a lot easier. While I was organizing the books I also threw away any that were missing pages, and donated ones that we did not like or had an extra copy of.
The nice thing about the toys being sorted in their own boxes is that it's easier for J to play. He would dump everything out of a large toy bin in search of one car. Now he just grabs the car box and can see everything that he "needs".
It's also a lot easier for J to clean up. He knows where everything goes now, and I'm a happy Mama because the toys are picked up! :)
I'll show you the playroom later. :)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Summer Decor

I wanted to redecorate the house for Summer without spending any money. So here is what I came up with for the top of the entertainment cabinet. (I don't have a fireplace the cabinet gets decorated instead!)
 I just raided the kitchen for all my glass vases, pitcher, and candle sticks. Then I searched for things to put in them...hmmm some random rocks, the twine balls I made, and some glass stones should do the trick. Then I found this grass/wild reed "stuff" and thought it was just what the tall vase needed. I wish I had some sand instead of glass stones. Oh well, I refuse to spend money on this. :)

So what do you think? I'll have to see what the Hubs thinks when he gets home! ;)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A day on the farm

We spent last Saturday at a local farm taking in all the sights...and smells! :) This was a great way to spend time together as a family, and learn a little something while we are at it.
This is a habitat display that J is checking out. 

Daddy and son spending quality time with the pigs. Here we experienced more of the smells on the farm! 

There was a cool scale in the barn to see if you weighed as much as a pig! Our entire family weighs as much as a sow. Wow pigs weigh a lot!

This was also a great time to show J how the doors to the barn were opened and closed using a rope and pulley system. (Hold on baby N) :)

What's the best way to end a day exploring the farm? With a big ice cream of course! or as J says "nilla ice cweam with spwinkles"

summer table

I picked up some flowers last night on my trip to the grocery store (so much for just getting milk). A huge bunch for three dollars. That's enough to fill thee of my vases. yay! I love fresh flowers on the table. :)
The candle in the middle has some small shells from our vacation.
I think they look cute in there...let's just hope J can keep his little fingers out of it. You know three year olds and their quest for treasure!
The cutest part of the table is what's under it though! :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Motions

Today I was so inspired and convicted by Matthew West's song "The Motions". The lines that say:
"Take me all the way. I don't want to just go through the motions. I don't want to go one more day without your consuming passion inside of me. I don't want to spend one more day asking what if I had given everything."
Then in my devotions I was reading Psalms 119. Hmm think God's teaching me a lesson. :)
Psalm 119:5-7 "Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees! Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands. I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws."
Psalm 119:10 "I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands."
 See the video here. :)

I have also found that I'm a much better wife and mommy if I start my day off with reading God's word and prayer. It's not always easy with two little ones...but SO important. It's good for J and N to see Mommy reading the bible. I also like to have praise and worship on throughout the day and in the car. It's hard to be grouchy when praise music is on. :) 

Monday, June 21, 2010

Trying to eat better

Eating well does not mean that you have to eat like a rabbit...umm I guess I should explain that to N. :) My husband and I are trying to eat better though. We have gained a little weight and a few tummy problems. It's so easy to get caught up in the fast-food way of life. I really do not want my boys to grow up thinking that is okay! Food is not just here for us to consume, but also for us to enjoy. How many times have you walked into a fast food place and said "wow something smells good" or "I feel great, that was a wonderful meal". No usually we walk away feeling gross and smelling gross too. I try to think of that when I'm tempted to hit the drive-through. Now don't get me wrong I'm far from perfect...and there are days that J is munching on some chicken nuggets in the back seat. (oops!)
But the other night I was on my A game!!!! I made a super healthy and yummy meal that everyone loved. (Poor baby N just had apple sauce though) 

Chicken Salad wraps in whole wheat organic wraps with some organic baby spinach inside.
I had cooked a whole chicken the day before and then cut up the meat to use in several meals. It's much cheaper that way and you get the hard work done all at once!
So here is the recipe:
2 cups of cooked cubed chicken -I used organic
1 cup celery 
1 green onion
1/2 cup mayo
1 teaspoon basil
1teaspoon dill
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Mix all ingredients together and chill
Then I took a few spoon fulls on a whole wheat wrap and some organic baby spinach...don't you feel healthy now! I know the mayo is not the best...but It's a start. You could switch it out for yogurt if you wanted. :)

Then I put the chicken salad on my whole wheat wrap with some spinach. I made them ahead and then let them chill some in the refrigerator. We also had smoothies with our wraps that night.
In my blinder I put a cup of yogurt, 3 cups of mixed berries, a squirt of honey to taste, and a cup of water since my berries were frozen. Mix until smooth. Enjoy!
So it's not perfect...but I'm learning...and my family is on their way to being even healthier!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

So the hubs and I were off on a wonderful cruise last week. He won it though his business because he reached a certain sales goal. This was a great time for us to reconnect and really date each other. So many times it's easy to get caught up in life and the kids.
I was determined to try some new things and step outside of my comfort zone. My husband was impressed and excited. Once I got over my fears it really was a lot of fun. 
He has ALWAYS wanted me to get on the back of his bike....Okay FINE, I did it! I must confess I was holding onto him for dear life (maybe that's why he has wanted me to ride with him) 
I don't have a picture of me doing this...but I promise I did...sort of...I did some body surfing. That is until I got hit in the head with the board. I tried it though, and that's the part that counts right?!

We also got a chance to dress up and enjoy a nice dinner together. We were able to just talk and enjoy each others company. We need to find time to do that more often.
So we left the boys for a week with my AMAZING parents (thanks a million Mom and Dad), and got a chance to have a second honeymoon. I think everyone should find a way to get away with out the kids. Let's not get caught up in the "Mommy Martyrdom Syndrome". We need to get all dolled up and spend some quality time with our husbands!