Monday, December 27, 2010

Big News and a Good Explanation (I promise)

Well....if there is ANYONE who still even bothers to read my blog (out of the 2 of you that ever did, when I was writing regularly), I think I owe you an explanation for my absence. I would have explained sooner, but couldn't.

Around the time that I stopped posted regularly, was around the same time that my morning sickness kicked in. heard right...morning sickness. I am sure you are not nearly as shocked as we were but we are starting to get use to the idea now. In 2 days, I will be 14 weeks. We told our parents and our children on Christmas. Now that my kids know, it will be public knowledge!

It's hard to believe that in about a month, we will know the gender of the baby. Everyone in our house is praying HARD for a girl. However, we realize that we seem to make boys a little easier than girls. We also know that God chooses for us, exactly what he wants us to have, and what is best for us. So, we will be thankful for whatever precious gift he chooses to give us.

For those who care, I am due in June, again! Jonah will be 2 in June, right before this baby is due. That will be our 3rd June birthday.

Anyway, I thought things would make more sense  (to anyone who bothers to read this blog), now that you know why I have been so absent. The last couple months, I have been on survival mode....adjusting to the news....trying to figure out how I will get by with more on my plate....rejoicing that Jonah will have a playmate and that we will see another baby in our house....dealing with sickness....going to bed right when the kids do...homeschooling in PJs lots of days...etc. You get the picture. It's almost comical. I was off to such a great start to this school year and was on a real roll with my attempted organization and healthier cooking, etc....all to come to a screeching halt! I know it will all be worth it and I am going to attempt to ease back into the blogging. I do need to be realistic, though, with my expectations!

Thanks to the 1 or 2 of you that may read this!!!! Otherwise, it is here for my documentation! A new and exciting journey is ahead!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I'm still here....

I'm still here and have several things to share. I just haven't been able to get myself to sit and do it, because of a few things going on lately.
For one, a precious family in our church was watching their beloved mother/wife fight her last days of a battle with stomach cancer. She was diagnosed in April and it was evident, these last couple of weeks, would be her last. They amazed me, as they were such an example of trusting God through this. They mourned the loss of the many plans they had shared, but recognized that the Lord ordained this long ago. She went to be with her Lord on Monday afternoon and her Memorial Service will be this Saturday at the Master's College. They are expecting as many as 1000 people, because of how many lives she touched. I  feel privileged to have known her, even just a little bit.
On a much more trivial note....I got sick again a few days ago and have spent the better part of the last few days in bed. So...there you have it. I have been here but have been pre-occupied. I do have things to share (for those of you that care). I will be back soon! :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween 2010

 Halloween was fun again. We have a tradition of going down to the Hartungs' house and trick-or-treating with a huge group of people. The kids had a good time dressing up and being with their good friends!

 Kip, from Napoleon Dynamite

Some sort of wizard?

 Jack Sparrow

Princess Tiana, from Princess and the Frog

Our sweet little monkey

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy 14th!

I had to do a quick post in honor of my oldest child. Jeremy is 14 years old today and I do not know where the years have gone. I can remember the moment I knew I was in labor with seems like such a short time ago. He has richly blessed our lives. He is smart, funny, caring, helpful, competitive, strong, self-motivated.....I could go on and on. Every child brings challenges, but the blessings FAR outweigh them. We are excited to see the man he will become. I love him so much and am so thankful that he is our oldest. Looking forward to see what the year ahead brings!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

October co-op

So, this year and last year, we have transitioned from meeting every Friday, to meeting about once a month. There are so many contributing factors. One of them is that the kids go to classes 2 days a week 3 days of being gone would be too much (we would never get any of our work at home done). Other reasons were babies, pregnancies and bed rest over the last 2 years. It just became too hard to be prepared EVERY week. It is working out really well this way. We study science, Story of the world (history in chronological order), and usually try to celebrate a holiday that is nearby.
So, after our study of the different parts of the brain and the brain lobes, as well as history, we had some fun.
The kids decorated Halloween cupcakes. Julia, as you can see, refused to wash her face painting off from the day before. We did, however, take a shower and scrub it off after co-op :)
Stefanie had a fun craft idea of modge podging glass jars with Halloween characters, to put votive candles in. The kids had tons of fun with it. Jacob told me it was his favorite craft we have done in co-op thus far.

Here are the final results: We have ghosts, pumpkins, monsters and creative designs.
They turned out really cute!
Here are my kids' lit up after!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Fall Festival

Our learning center had a cute little Fall Festival for the kids. They dressed up in costumes that day and could purchase tickets to participate in fun activities. It was really cute and the kids had a great time.
Julia has a different costume for Halloween but grandma picked this up for her to dress up with also. She decided to wear this one to school. She was so excited. The boys were too cool to dress up.

There were lots of activites. Julia's favorites were the face painting and the nail painting tables.

Kaitlyn and Julia

Very happy with her face painting.

Julia and Christina
Julia and Molly

Olive Moore giving Jonah a kiss! :)

Monday, October 25, 2010


In the spirit of the rain we have been getting, I felt it necessary to make a couple of pots of soup. I figured that it is just as easy to make 2 different pots as it was to make one. Now I have some for lunches throughout the week, etc. or simply some to freeze. One pot I made was just a simple chicken and vegetable soup. Later it can be eaten the way it was made or pasta or rice could be added to it.The 2nd pot was a recipe I got from Trader Joes several years can tweak it as you like it.
I started with a pot of water and chicken. I brought it to a boil and let it simmer for a couple of hours to make my own broth. In that pot, I added chicken bullion, chopped onion, and garlic salt. Once the chicken was ready to be shredded, I skimmed the broth and shredded the chicken and put it back into the pot. Then, I added 2 jars of Trader Joes' Salsa Verde (green salsa), a bag of Trader Joes' frozen roasted corn, 2 cans of chick peas (garbanzo beans), and a can of green beans (this was my own addition). As I got close to serving, I tore up tortillas into small pieces and threw those in the pot (I think the original recipe might have been chips...I can't remember). Simple but yummy. You can top with shredded cheeses, chips, sour cream or whatever you like.

Try not to judge the soup based on the picture. There have been so many things I haven't posted because the picture made it look unappetizing. I guess that is why they use fake things when they photograph food....because the really thing doesn't look as good....weird

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Divine Dessert

When I was little, I use to fly to New Hampshire during the summer to spend time with family. My sweet grandma was always baking and always thinking of others. Any time we went to visit someone or someone came to visit us, she would whip up a quick treat. Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Bars are one of those treat that I remember her making on those occassions. Everyone always loved them. I made some for friends today and thought I would share the recipe! My kids came home drooling when they saw them (I made an extra pan for home.....I had to......that would just be plain cruel) :)

Here is the recipe the way I made it...super duper easy and quick. If you want to be frugal (like I have done many times), you can make the batch of cookie dough from scratch.

For a 9 x 13 pan:

* 2 rolls of Pillsbury chocholate chip cookie dough
* 12 oz bar of cream cheese
* 1/2 c sugar
* 1 egg

Cream together the cream cheese, sugar and egg. Grease a 9 x 13 pan. Slice one roll of hthe dough and place discs on the bottom of the pan. Slightly press together...there can be small spaces because they will expand when they cook. Spread the cream chees mixture over cookie dough. Add the other roll of dough, sliced on top of cream cheese.
Bake 30-45 min. Done when gold brown.

*If you use homemade dough, just divide the dough in half for top and bottom!

Enjoy! ♥

Monday, October 18, 2010

Acorn Squash with Chicken Sausage and Brown Rice

With the stomach flu out of our house, I am back to cooking. This Fall weather makes me want to be in the kitchen. Tonight we had another new recipe. First of all, I was excited about cooking brown rice in the oven. So much easier than on the stove. Rice, broth and spices, in the oven for 50 minutes and voila!

Then, I baked the acorn squash...yum!
Then, chicken sausage was browned in a skillet. I had chicken sausage with apples and Gouda in it. The chicken was removed and put in a bowl. Then, onions and red peppers were sauteed until they were tender.

The veggies and rice were added to the sausage in the bowl. Chunks of the squash were scooped out and added to the mix. The squash needs to keep 1/4-inch thick walls so they stay sturdy.

Then, the mixture was added to the squash "bowls" and put in the oven to "warm" for 20 minutes. I forgot to take a picture of the individual "bowls" that each person got.

Served with salad and whole grain bread...this was a yummy fall dinner!

Here is the link to the recipe that I used and modified:

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I LOVE Fall!

I love Fall so much. My favorite time of year is Christmas, but the sad thing about it is that once it comes, it's over. Does that sound weird? So, I actually love Fall because it is a stretch of time leading up to Christmas! I love the weather. I love the baking. I love the extra time we spend at home as a family, indoors, enjoying each other's company. I usually don't decorate for every holiday. I don't know why. I am just not a big fan of it. But I do enjoy little things hear and there that are a reminder of the season. (I do, however, enjoy decorating for Christmas).

Side note: one of my favorite stores is Homegoods. I find little treasures for little cost, and I often stumble on cute gift ideas. I was in there a couple of weeks ago looking for something and I stumbled on this cute little owl statue. He caught my eye and made me smile. So....I got him. And I got this cute pillar to hide my jar candles (that burn Fall scents, of course). I thought it was such a cute way to dress up those ugly jar candles (which I happen to love, becasue they last so long). So, they both joined my chalkboard on my bar with some fresh flowers from Trader Joes (another one of my favorite things)!

On the Mend..... has been a long week. All 5 kids ended up getting the stomach flu. Like dominoes, they each threw up, one after the other. Louie and I felt pretty awful for about 2 days: really bad stomach ache, nausea, headache, weak, tired, etc. You get the picture. However, I am happy to say that neither one of us ever threw up. We were spared. Thank you Lord! We still felt awful, but throwing up seems worse. My house piled up around me all week. This all started the day of my car accident. However, things could be a lot worse and I am thankful we are ll healthy again. No word on my car, yet. But that is just a "thing", right? So...we won't worry about that right now. just happy to be gaining back energy so I can go back to enjoying serving my family! :)
This is a better view than what my house has looked like this past week. This is after everyone started on their way to being well again. Prior to this....the picture was much worse!!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Saga Continues....

Well...I kind of thought we dodged a bullet.....I was wrong. After I wrote yesterday, Jonah threw up 3 or 4 more times. So...we pretty much figured he had some sort of flu. He never acted super sick though. Today, he was a bit fussier and seemed to rub his head quite a bit as if he had a headache. However, the rest of us remained fine. So....I was getting a bit excited that we may all stay well. I was wrong. Now, tonight, when it was time to go to Awana and youth group, Jake started complaining he didn't feel well. So, he stayed home with me and Jonah. While the rest of the kids were at church, he threw up twice. The other kids got home, I went down to greet them and found Jeremy throwing up in the kitchen sink. Once he composed himself, he told me he threw up in the bathroom at youth group. Both have thrown up several times since. Good times. Terrified of who might get it next. It came on so quickly that I am nervous it will hit someone in the middle of the night. This is going to be a long night. Praying I don't get it.....not sure how I would take care of anyone!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I should have stayed home....

Well, today has not been the most perfect day. Within 10 minutes of leaving the house, I got in a car accident with all 5 kids in the car. This is the 1st accident I have been in since I have been married. I am embarrassed to say, it was my fault. I was looking the rear view mirror and when I looked back out the front one....I saw a car stopped right in front of me. I slammed on the breaks, was too late. Ugghhh. If I could only take it back. Nothing I can do about it now. It's only a car. I know all of these things. However, it disrupted all of our days. My kids were now late for school. My poor husband had to borrow a car (that we could all fit in) to come get us so I could take my kids to school. He then got it to the repair shop and got a rental car. He told me to just go do my errands, and he would take care of everyting. I'm pretty lucky how calm he can be when I tend to stress out so easily.

Then...............while at the parking lot.......Jonah threw up all over himself and was sitting in a pool of vomit (this is not for the faint of heart). It was everywhere and it was really gross. I used every wipe I had to clean him....(and now me, from picking him up). was gross. I was already at Target, with a list, so I thought I would quickly run in and then get him home. I gave him some apple juice, hoping it would help him feel better. While pushing him around Target, he threw up apple juice on the floor twice. Yes, twice. Needless to say, I left. I'm sure we both smelled great at this point. Poor cashier.

Now, I am feeling kind of funny, and slightly naucious and I am praying it is all in my mind (or becasue I have been smelling vomit for the last couple of hours). "Please Lord, spare me from the stomach flu". I have the 1st staff meeting of the school year at my house this afternoon and I am busily setting up for that. I hope I can make it through.

Why am I writing this post now, when the day is only half-way over? I think this day has been eventful enough. I am locking the door and not leaving again. I am praying that the events are over with.... so there would be no need to write later (because there will be nothing new to report)! Right? Do you think it will work? I am going to have happy thoughts and say...yes.

Now, back to setting up and looking forward to a better rest of the day. :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Muffins

Tried another recipe.....and it was another hit. I am sure these recipes are not for everyone. And.....when yo compare them to the REALLY YUMMY food that is out there, I am sure they pale in comparison. goal is to make healthy snack for my kids...ones with liw sugar and whole wheat flour and grains. So, I continue to search for new ones and experiment with them so i can build up a file of ones that my kids like. I found this one on Tasty Kitchen's website again. I discovered this website through my love for The Pioneer Woman and her blog. She is connected to Tasty Kitchen and tons of people share recipes there. Anyway, it is one of my favortie wensites to search for recipes....and they have ALL's not meant to be "one of those healthy websites".
This recipe was featured to serve with dinner. After making it, I know why. It really isn't very sweet but it has good flavor. I added a bit of extra brown sugar than it called for...but not much. the kids enjoyed it for breakfast with homemade jam on it!
You can find the recipe here!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Disneyland-Twice in 2 weeks!!!???

Here's another one with lots of pictures. I went to Disneyland 2 weeks ago with my parents. We hadn't been since April or May so the kids were super excited! We always have fun going with grandma and grandpa, anyway. It was a pretty hot day, but nothing compared to the 105 degree weather we had been having.
Jonah enjoyed it more than he had last time...he was older and more aware of all the fun around him! Grandma and Grandpa came over to meet and drive down with us....Jonah was happy to see grandpa!!!
1st day the park was decorated for Halloween

Jungle Cruise

Jonah thought he was "big stuff" running around Tom Sayer's Island!
Loved her hair so much (done at Gumball Alley) that I had to take a picture of it! :)

Hysterical Mexican Halloween display!

Great Day!!! Lots of fun!
The highlight of Julia's Day......SHE WAS FINALLY TALL ENOUGH FOR SCREAMIN'!!!!

*Then........2 weeks later, the Fays called and asked us to go again! I normally wouldn't go to Disneyland that close together. But, Heidi wanted company and I knew the kids would have fun together. This was a big adventure for me because I was taking all 5 kids, backpack, diaper bad, sweatshirts and stroller by myself. I was looking forward to it, though! It was also supposed to be partly cloudy with a 20% chance of showers. Boy....were they wrong!!!! It was super cloudy and maybe about 20% of the day wasn't rainy!
So happy to be at Disneyland with friends. The rain didn't seem to bother them a bit.

Hot cocoa for all the kids warmed their tummies!

It rained, drizzled, or misted most of the day. I finally had to break down and buy a Disneyland rain poncho to keep the stroller dry. When we would come out of a ride, it would be soaked. :)
Two very different, but fun days!