Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas

We wish you all a Merry Christmas! Here are some recent pictures, hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I love this KID!!

Here is a recent picture of Kadester. He really is amazing. I mean, Zander is too, in his 2 year old way, but gosh, Kade is what 4 month olds are supposed to be like! He is progressing and developing much quicker than we remember Zander doing. Its wonderful to see the difference, a little sad too. He is a big boy. At his 4 mo check up he was almost 16 lbs. Zander wasn't that heavy until he was at least 9 months old! its been fun seeing the changes.

Zander is talking a mile a minute! Almost everything is understood by at least mom, and dad gets most of it. He can name just about every animal there is, and loves dinosaurs and ocean life the most. Everything is a weapon, and we decided against the play tool set for Christmas because of this. He seems to be very mechaniclly inclined so we thought a little tool set would be fun. I think we will wait until next year.

I hadn't posted anything on the kids in a while, so I thought I would! Hope you enjoy it!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Cafe Rio Burritos

Wow, three posts in a row, I am on a roll!!

So, I have never been to Cafe Rio. Heard lots of good things about their food, though, so when I ran across this recipe I decided to try it. I am impressed! In talking to a few people who have been there, I think this is not exactly like a said burrito, but they are tasty, and worth the shot! Here goes:

Cafe Rio Burritos
1 1/2 lbs boneless pork loin
salt, pepper, garlic salt, to season
1 pkg burrito size tortillas
1 15 oz can (or 1 28 oz can) mild green chili enchilada sauce
1/2 c brown sugar
1 15 oz can black beans, drained
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 lb Monterrey jack cheese, grated
chicken broth or bouillon cubes
about 2 c prepared rice

*Cut pork into large cubes and place in slow cooker with 1/3 c water (you can use cola also, to add flavor). Season with salt, pepper and garlic salt. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8. Remove from cooker and drain. Shred mean and place in a bowl. In another bowl mix together 1/2-3/4 c green chili sauce and 1/2 c brown sugar. Pour over pork and mix well.
*Prepare rice per directions. Add chicken bouillon cubes to water or use chicken broth instead of water to add flavor.
*Drain beans and warm up in microwave or on stove.
*Brown tortillas on a skillet or over flame (be careful!!)
*Assembly- Heat oven to 350. Spray 9x13 pan (If you have a larger one, use it!) with cooking spray. Pour 1/2 c enchilada sauce into pan. Sprinkle each tortilla with cheese, rice, 1-2 T cilantro, black beans and 1/3 c pork. Roll up burrito style, folding in all sides, and place in baking dish seam side down. After all burritos are made up, pour remaining sauce over burritos and sprinkle with cheese. Bake in oven until burritos are heated through and cheese is melted, about 20 minutes. Garnish with tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, lettuce, or nothing at all!! Makes a LOT. We used the whole pack of tortillas, there was a ton. Fed us for a week!!

This is one of Chris' favorites!

Captian Jack's Corn Chowder

The original title of this recipe is 'Chef Jack's Corn Chowder' by Paula Dean. I read it wrong and titled it Captain Jack's Corn chowder, and since I made a few changes, that's what I call it. Here goes!
· 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
· 1 small onion, diced
· 1 small carrot, finely diced (or more!)
· 2 small celery stalks, diced
· 2 small or 1 large potato, cubed
· 2 clove garlic, minced
· 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
· 3 cups white corn kernels, fresh or frozen
· 4 cups chicken stock (2 cans broth)
· 4-5 slices crisp bacon
· 2 cups half-and-half
· 1 cup milk or more to thin a bit
· Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
· Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the corn, potato and chicken stock in saucepan, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, Melt 1 stick of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic, and saute for 2 minutes. Add the flour and stir to make a roux. Cook until the roux is lightly browned; set aside to cool to room temperature.
Pour the boiling stock with the corn (a little at a time) into the saucepan with the roux, whisking briskly so it doesn't lump. Return the skillet to the heat and bring to a boil. Add bacon The mixture should become very thick.
In a small saucepan, gently heat the half-and-half; stir it into the thick corn mixture. If needed add milk to thin. Add the nutmeg and salt and pepper, to taste.

**This is SO SO SO good! The original recipe says it serves 8-10. I made a double batch and had 8 adults over and there were hardly any left overs. Served it with bread bowls, and it was fabulous!!

Super Easy French Bread

A few weeks ago we decided to try out making bread bowls for soup. The Missionaries were coming over for dinner, and I thought it was the perfect time for experimenting! I found a great recipe for french bread and used that. The bread is so good and easy I make it a few times a month, at least, and since its just Chris and I, it lasts a while. The recipe rely on a bread machine to do most of the work, sweet, huh!! Here goes:

Place the following ingredients in order into your bread machine pan:

1 C warm water
2 1/2 C bread flour
1 TBSP sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp quick rise yeast (also known as bread machine yeast. Regular yeast is fine, it will just rise slower!)

Turn your bread machine on to the dough cycle and press start. My machine takes 1 hour 20 min to go through this cycle.

After it is done, remove the dough from machine and place in an oiled bowl, turning over so all sides are coated. Let rise until doubled, which is at least 1 hour sometimes more. If I start this early, I just let it rise until I get the chance to do the next step. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched

Once doubled, place dough on a well floured surface. Roll out to a 12x16 rectangle. cut in half, making 2 12x8 rectangles. Roll each piece up, on the long side, like you were making cinnamon rolls. Place seam on the bottom, and pinch ends together. Place on a baking sheet and let rise again for another hour or so, or until they are nice and puffy. The longer they rise the more tender and light the bread will be.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Mix egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water; brush over tops of loaves. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown. For a crispy crust, place a pan of ice water on the bottom rack of your oven as the bread bakes. Or if you have a food-safe spray bottle, every 5 minutes or so open your oven and spray water inside. This creates steam, which creates a nice crisp crust!

***Bread bowls*****
Instead of rolling the dough into loaves, I just made balls. I got 3 out of each recipe, they weighed 7 oz each (I like to weigh everything to make sure its even. Call me a dork. . . )Let them rise the second time, and bake for about the same amount of time, I think. Just keep checking. I let them cool, cut the tops off, dug a lot of the dough out, and pressed the insides so that it made the crust thicker. Filled with thicker soups and enjoy!!

Friday, September 4, 2009

New Quilt Idea

I really need to blog more. I have 2 issues- I am a Farmtown on Facebook addict, and I have 2 little boys. I have been searching to a solution to my issues. The second can't be resolved, and I wouldn't WANT it resolved- I adore my children and want more! The first? I am going to replace my FB time with quilting. I love the entire process of quilting (as long as the quilt isn't so big) and think it will be my new substitute. These feelings escilated when I saw this quilt top/tutorial. The fact that this quilter is a Dad makes it even cooler in my book!! I LOVE the fabrics in this block, and would have never chosen them to go together. I have lots of fun fabric that I am going to go cut up! So, keep bugging me (if you want) for progress on this project. If I have someone expecting something I am much more likely to stay on track. Happy September!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


So. I was a bit of a rock star in the kitchen yesterday. Since it was a little cooler and I had a bit more energy, and we HAD to eat, I decided to try a new recipe for dinner. I am so glad I did, because this is one tasty dish!! Much like me. . . ha ha. So kidding. Anyway, its from the red and white checker Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. Its low fat (kind of) and vegetarian. Not that we are by any means vegetarians. Chris's system gets a little out of wack if we eat too much meat. Plus, its healthy to eat more veggies and beans than fatty meat. Anyway, here is the recipe. Its called:

Black Bean Tortialla Casserole.
2 C chopped onion (2 large)
1 1/2 C chopped bell pepper (2 med)
1 14.5 oz can tomatoes, undrained and cut up (I use the petite diced tomatoes)
3/4 C bottled picante sauce or green salsa (I used salsa)
2 tsp ground cumin
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 15 oz cans black beans and or red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
12 6 in corn tortillas (Mine were a little bigger and I only needed 10)
8 oz reduced fat jack cheese (2 cups. i had some already shredded cheddar and used that with the jack. If you only had cheddar it would br fine! And my cheese was NOT reduced fat! hence the above coment about sort of low fat)
Sour cream, chopped up lettuce and tomatos, green onions, and chopped olives for garnish

1. In a large skillet combine onion, bell pepper, tomatoes, picante sauce (or salsa), cumin, and garlic. Bring to boiling; reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Stir in beans.
2 Spread 1/3 of the bean mixture in the bottom of a 9x13 (3 quart) baking dish. Top with apx 6 tortillas, overlapping if necessary. Top tortillas with 1 cup cheese. and another 1/3 of the bean mixture, then more torillas, then the rest of the bean mixture.
3. Bake, covered, in a 350 oven for 30-35 minutes. Sprinkle with remaning cheese, recover, and let sit for 10 minutes so the cheese will melt. Serve with desired garnishes. we just used sour cream, and it was perfect. Maybe tonight we will have salad too.

Nutritional info- 295 calories, 8 g total fat per serving. These figures are with reduced fat cheese, and probably very little if any sour cream. Still not bad. The recipe lists 8 servings, which allows for good size pieces! Told you it was pretty healthy! Enjoy!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Kade is HERE!!

Kade Michael was born at 12:36 PM on July 17th! I will post about the story soon, for now here is a picture!

Kade Michael

Our new baby boy arrived!! Its been 2 weeks, and a great two weeks at that. I didn't go to Church today, needed one more week home, but have had a great day with my two boys. Chris has been gone since 10:30 at before Church meetings, and its nice to know I will be able to handle it tomorrow when he goes back to work. I am totally rambling right now, aren't I? So, here is Kade's story.

Friday, the 17th, I woke up around 2:15 in the morning to go to the bathroom. I had been having contractions since, well, really since the end of April, but they hadn't gotten 'bad'. You know what I am talking about when I say bad, the horrible gut wrenching ones that make you think you are going crazy. Actually, most of my contractions had been very mild, I could barely feel them except for in my back. Anyway, as I am lying there trying to go back to sleep, I have a few mild contractions, really close apart. I realize after the third one that I should pay attention to the clock. After about an hour of contractions at 5 minutes apart, I wake Chris up. By now a million thoughts are running thorugh my head, mostly consisting of, "Oh my, its really happening!" and "holy crap, I have to give birth today,". When I woke Chris up he was in a really good mood. We both layed in bed and got really giddy at the thought of another baby being born in our family, TODAY!! I went and took a shower, he turned the tv on to wake up a bit. We got dressed, got our stuff together and I called my mom at 4:45 and told her to meet us at the hospital. As I was hanging up the phone, I heard her squeal with delight! She is so cute about things like that!

So, by the time we get to the hospital, the contractions are like, 2-3 minutes apart and hurting kind of bad. At the time I thought they were terrible, the worst. Now, looking back at rememering the rest of labor, I realize how very mild they were. I remember thinking that this was just what I pictured having a baby would entail-waking up in the middle of the night, waking a sleepy hubby up, driving (too slow!!) to the hospital all the while starting the breathing patterns to get through the contractions without snapping your husbands head off!! It was perfect!

My mom got to the hospital, took Zander home, and we went in at 5:30. The nurses checked me out and determined I really was in labor, so they called the dr and put me in a room. I told them right away I wanted an epidural. I learned my lesson last time. What lesson was that, you ask?? Labor is hard enough without all the pain, and a little relief is OK!! I wasn't going to get a medal of courage for doing it the old fashioned, no relief way.
**I started this right after Kade was born, and never finished it. Here is a tie- up to the story!**
I had the epidural, was able to rest for a few hours, then my nurse came in to check me out. I was at a 10 and ready, although I was so out of it, just tired. She had me push a few times but the Kade's head was still pretty high up, and he was faced the wrong way. And each time I push, his heart rate dipped. I don't know what it went down to, though. Another nurse came in checked me, and said, "We gotta get this baby out of there, you are having a c-section." WHAT!?!! I go from nice and resting to a c-section in like, 10 minutes. She gave me a shot to stop the contractions, went and called the dr, and they rushed in and had me sign all this paper work. I got pretty emotional because i didn't want anything to happen to the baby. She made it sound horrible, and looking back, i don't know if it was really that bad. They took me back to the OR about 30 minutes later and got me ready. Dr. Arora came in, did his thing and Kade was born at 12:36 pm. I felt NOTHING at all. . . until a few hours later. Thank goodness for Darvocet, let me tell you! My Dr. came in the next day to see how things were going, and admitted that if he would have been there things might have gone a little different. But hey, it was a Friday, one of his busiest office days, there was no way he could be there until he absolutly had to be, which I understand. As it was I caused a 4 hour delay that day for his other patience with aptointments. yikes!

So, recovery has been. . . long, to say the least. He is 7 weeks and 2 hours old, as of right now, and I have felt normal for less than a week. Every few days a new pain would emerge, and I know its because different nerves woke up at differnt times, and in phases. I have experienced a bit of the grieving process as well, which might sound dumb, but its very real. Things didn't go as I planned, and my plans were quite flexible, mind you, with the result of giving birth naturally, coming home, and enjoying my babies. Instead I was down for 2 weeks, unable to do anything, much less give Zander the attention he needed. I couldn't play with him, or even put him down for bed, which was/is one of my very favorite things to do. Knowing I forever have to deliver via c-section, and go through this long recovery process every time i have a baby makes me cringe. However- I am looking at the positives (I get to choose my babies birthdays, NO labor contractions, and much more planning) and am ok with more c-sections. My doctor said I can have 3 more easily, so I am ok. Lets just hope we get twins next time, and I can be done!!

Thats Kade's story, he is fussing now so i am going to post and be done. I appologize for the typo's!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Toilet paper, Toast, and Towels

Its been a while, and Zander has said/done some terribly cute things the last few days so I thought I would post. Yesterday I was in the office, on the computer, THINKING that Zander was watching Clifford, when I hear a faint "Ma Ma" coming from somewhere echo-y. I KNEW, as soon as I thought about it, where it was coming from. Our master bathroom is open to our room, except the toilet is in its own little area, with a door (thank goodness!). For some strange reason, Z loves to go in there! We put a door nob lock on it, but I had forgot to close it, so there he was, trapped in the toilet room. My biggest concern is the germs, and his touching everything, yuck. Never did I realize he was capable of THIS-

Yes dear readers, that is a WHOLE roll of tp, I know because I had just changed it at 2 am that morning!! He ran out of the bathroom as soon as I opened the door, but I made him come back so HE could pick it up, and so I could take a picture. He had put that hat on a while before, isn't he funny about his hats!?! So, our first toilet paper experience. Mommy has learned her lesson and BOTH bathrooms are shut!!

This morning I was searching for something for a snack for both of us and toast sounded so good. He was sitting in his high chair asking for more of something while the toast was toasting. I told him mommy was making him toast and he lifted his feet up, pointed to them and said 'toes?' I think he was a little confused, but I thought it was funny.

This morning I had a cup of water from last night on my nightstand and he grabbed it and of course it spilled on the night stand and the carpet. I told him to go get a towel and clean it up, not really thinking he knew what to do. I went to the linen closet and grabbed a towel for him and surprisingly, after I handed it to him, he went back in my room and sort of cleaned up the water!! What a cleaner! Then, the cutest part, I told him to go put it in the dirty clothes while I got ready. He came back in a few minutes later empty handed, we left for swim lessons, and I thought nothing else about it. I went to grab a towel for some other mess he made a little while ago and there was the wet towel in the closet! he had put it back where I got it! Not exactly the dirty clothes, but hey, he knew where it went! I think he might have inherited his fathers 'put it back where you found it cleanliness' attitude-YES!!!

Ah, I love my kid. We are very excited for this next baby to fill our hearts even more. Can there possibly be room?!?! I think so. . . 2-3 weeks and we will find out!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Time to Prepare

I have been having nightmares for a few weeks now all consisting of the baby coming early and me not being ready. This may stem from Zander actually coming 2 weeks early and I wasn't ready! Although it wasn't that big of a deal when he was born, Chris is pretty competent in filling the list I made of things I needed from the hospital, and my mom more than happily obliged to pick up some clothes for him (sort of a good thing I wasn't ready because he needed premie clothes) I fear more this time because I also have Zander to take care of and prepare for what to do with him while I am in the hospital.

These crazy dreams are driving ME crazy! What starts off as a middle of the night potty quickly turns into me laying in bed for 2 hours making mental lists of everything I still need to do. I figure if I break it down into small tasks, I won't get too tired and in the 5-7 weeks I have left, everything will get done.

Today's task was going through Zander's dresser and making room for baby stuff. I put away (actully I made a pile on the floor) all the winter and too small clothes and got out the newborn stuff and washed it. I had a trial size packet of Dreft left over and as I opened it, the smell of newborn krept up my nose!! I love that smell! I used that soap for a while with Zander. Actually, someone gave me a big bottle at my shower and it lasted for about 5-6 months. I will have to look for coupons and add it to my list!

Anyone have any advice on the use/need for a double stroller, and good, sturdy brands? I really think we are going to need one, but there are so many options! Any thoughts would be great!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

This Week's Favorite Desert

I have decided I REALLY enjoy desert. So much so that I can't say I have only one favorite. I thought the orange one a few posts ago was it, then I tried this. Thinking back, I can browse through cookbooks all day looking for my favorite and I only get more excited to try new things! We had an Enrichment activity at Church last week and had cold deserts for refreshments. I practically begged Angie (the leader) to let me make something, because I was dying to find the next best thing! I found this recipe and am SOO grateful for it. SOOo amazingly good, and you can totally alter it to your preferences. Here goes the original recipe:

Butterscotch Ice Cream Squares
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 c oats (uncooked)
1/2 c brown sugar
1 c (2 sticks) butter or margarine, melted
1 c chopped nuts (I like pecans)
1 12 oz jar butterscotch topping (I used a 16 oz jar of Mrs. Richardson's Carmel)
1/2 gallon English Toffee or Butter Brickle ice cream, softened (I used Pecan Praline)

* Mix the flour, oats, and brown sugar together in a 9x13 baking dish. Add butter and continue to mix well. Add nuts. Press mixture into pan evenly, making a crust.
*Bake for 15 minutes at 350. Stir while warm to crumble mixture then let cool. It will look like granola.
*After crum mix is cool, press down half the mixture into a 9x13 pan, I used the same one I baked it in.
* Pour half the carmel/ butterscotch topping over the crumbs.
* Spread the softened ice cream over the topping.
* Pour the rest of the carmel/butterscotch topping over the ice cream, followed by the rest of the crumb mix.
*Freeze for several hours, and serve!

** I used too much carmel topping, but didn't want to waste it!! 12 oz would have been pleanty. The recipe says you can use hot fudge or chocolate syrup and any flavor of icecream. Really its the crumb mix that makes this wonderful! I didn't freeze my desert long enough, so when we ate it at the activity it was kind of soupy. Then, after it had more time to freeze, it froze weird beacuse it had kind of melted. So it wasn't the prettiest desert, but so tasty!!

KFC Coleslaw Recipe

This is my grandma Patsy's favorite thing, and I was thrilled when I found the recipe for her. I made it last night and Chris liked it a lot. I am not a huge fan of the stuff, so its just ok in my opinion. Here goes:

8 cups shredded cabbage
1/4 cup carrot, shredded
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teas. salt
1/8 teas. pepper
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup mayonaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tbls. white vinegar
2 1/2 tbls. lemon juice
Combine cabbage and carrots in a large salad bowl. Mix remaining
ingredients together and combine thoroughly. Pour liquid ingredients
over cabbage and carrots and stir. Refrigerate at least two hours
before serving (overnight is better). Stir well before serving.

** I think of myself as a pretty good cook, but do NOT know how to shred cabbage!! Do you use a grater? I just chopped it up pretty fine (well, I thought it was pretty fine until i was done and had bigger than planned pieces of cabbage). Also, I just used my peeler and peeled the carrots, when i should have grated them. So, the texture was a little off, but the taste was good according to Chris. And hey, if he is happy, I am happy!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Current Favorite Dessert

Hi all. My mom made the BEST dessert yesterday for my Dad's birthday/Memorial day. It was amazing. Seriously. If I wasn't worried about my blood sugars I probably would have eaten the whole thing. Its a recipe from Kraft, and for those of you who get their quarterly magazine, its in there! Here is the recipe:

No baking, and very few ingredients, perfect for the summer!

Check it out!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Baby Steps

Great news! Wednesday, May 20th, Zander took his first steps!! Woo hoo! We had a physical therapist and early education specialist over and I wanted them to see him stand up on his own, something he just started doing last weekend. What a glorious suprise when he stood up then took 3 steps toward me!! I almost cried. Actually, i would have had the others not been here! That night Chris and I worked with him and he did so well taking litlle steps. We made it a game and got him to go from the couch to the ottoman and back. We busted out the video camara and got some good shots too. So exciting. I knew he would do it eventually, but boy, this gives me a huge boost of confidence. Him too, I think. He really likes being up and moving around, so hopefully he will just take off! I know, many of you are probably saying "watch what you ask for!" but hey, he is 21 months old (today!), its time. Plus, I cannot carry 2 babies anymore!! No pictures, but if I get the video software figured out I will post a little video. Happy Memorial day weekend!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


I am thinking about food right now. Partly because I just ate, and it was good, and partly because I am organizing my recipes. My mom made me a really neat cookbook filled with recipes contributed by family and friends for our wedding, and I have added to it and used it as 'home base' for all the recipes I collect, which is a bunch.I have a ton of strays that need to go back to home base.
I love a good recipe. Last night I made kickin' enchiladas and I thought I would share the recipe. It is my mom's recipe, but kicked into higher gear to please my saucy, spicy lovin' husband. (although he thinks your enchiladas are great, mom!!) Here it goes. This will make a 9x13 pan, which is plenty for Chris, Zander and I to have two meals. You can double if needed to fit your family!

1 lb of chicken breasts
1 15 oz can green chile enchilada sauce (I am not actually sure of the can size, I bought the large can (28 oz) because it was cheaper and saved half of it.)
1 4 oz can diced green chillies
diced onion, how much is your discretion!!!
1 15 oz can cream of chicken soup (low sodium, low fat is best, in my opinion!)
1/2 c sour cream (more if you like)
2 c shredded jack cheese (more if you like)
1 dzn corn tortillas

*Cook chicken preferred way, I boiled it because I didn't want to turn the oven on twice and it allowed me to do other things while it cooked. You can also bake it! Let cool and then shred.
* Mix together enchilada sauce, sour cream, soup, onion and green chilies. Add salt and pepper to taste, and taste to get flavor/creamieness right. Save some for top, apx 1/2 c or so. (you might have left overs anyway!!)
* Cook up tortillas. NORMALLY, I soft fry them, but its so time consuming, and greasy, so I experimented and placed 4 between two damp paper towels and microwaved them for 45 seconds. PERFECT!! I cooked 4, filled them, then cooked 4 more.
* Take one tortilla (warning, they are HOT!) place a bit of chicken, some sauce and cheese in middle, roll up and place in the bottom of baking dish, seems down. Continue until you have all your tortillas rolled up. Spread reserved/leftover sauce over all and top with left over (or more!) cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes or so. We like ours a little crispy around the edges.

I know EVERYONE has a chicken enchilada recipe they love, and so this is mine. If you use low fat cream of chick soup it really cuts down on the fat in these. The green chile sauce adds ton of flavor without much fat.

This is a recipe for my Grandma Patsy's corn casserole, which we had with tacos last week and the left overs tonight. It tastes like the corn stuff they put on the side of your plate at El Torito, but way better. I will share, cause its sooooo good!!

1 15 can whole kernel corn, drained well
1 15 oz can cream corn
1 box Jiffy mix (7 oz or so)
1/2 c sugar
2 eggs
1 stick of margarine (1/2 c) melted
1 c sour cream

Mix all ingredients well and pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake 45-60 minutes until center is firm. You can make this ahead of time by mixing it all together and putting it in the fridge until time to bake. Its a great, quick side.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cake Decorating

I grew up with my mom always making our birthday cakes. We would start talking about what kind of cake we wanted months before our birthdays. She did some really cool ones, especially the Barbie doll cakes. I think she ended up making one for all my girl cousins at one point in time. I love cakes and the art of cake decorating. The Food Network cake decorating Challange episodes are my very favorite! I have their most recent competitions recorded on DVR, just waiting for me to watch. Chris likes watching them too, which is even more fun!

While I KNOW there is not any way I will ever be good enough for one of those shows, I decided a while ago I wanted to learn the basics. Thinking back, it was right before Zander's first birthday. We were deciding on a cake, and I was wishing I knew what I was doing as I decorated his monkey cake. So my dear husband bought me cake decorating classes at Michaels for my birthday, last October. I am JUST now getting around to taking them and am having a great time practicing! Tomorrow will be the last class in the first course, and while I am grateful I will have one less thing to do, I will really miss the practice and learning. Here are a few of the things I have done:

It may not look that great, because I took a picture after I cut into it. It started out with a really nice looking hot pink and purple rainbow on yellow iced cake. (still working out colors!!) I had extra frosting and wanted/needed to practice so I worked on piping letters (shout out to my Babe) and doing circles and stars. I love it!!

For our next class we learned clowns. The store didn't have any clown heads, so I didn't bother with taking pictures of globs of icing. They are cute and really easy, though. I made cupcakes for Chris to take into work the next day and practiced all the techniques I leaned. My teacher showed my how to use the flower tip to make a really cool looking ruffle. I took it further and made what I think is a rad looking flower cupcake. Anyone need a dozen flower cupcakes for something?? I will do it!! They are so fun and so cool looking. At least, I think!! Here is a shot from the top.

And here is one from the side:

Thanks for looking!!


So sorry for the lack of blogging, not that any of you sit and wait for me to post something interesting, or anything. I have been very tired and overwhelmed by any and everything lately, and just have not made time to blog!

This pregnancy is kicking my butt!! For those of you who don't know, we are having another BOY!! We are thrilled that Zander will have a little brother, a little buddy to pal around with. And, logistically, it works perfectly! My only fear is that we will never get a girl, but even that could be OK! Think of how much money we would save on clothes/shoes!!

Back to the pregnancy. I never got braxton hicks contractions with Zander. Never even a real contraction until the pitocin kicked it after my water broke in the dr office. So it came as a real shocker last week when my belly would get really hard, and I would get super tired all of a sudden. On Saturday we were in Home Depot (it might have been Lowe's, actually. Both that day) when I really felt it. I told Chris to feel my belly and he was surprised at how hard it was, the whole thing, not just where the baby was!! Holy cow. I didn't have pain, really, just tightness. Of course I called my BFF, the pregnancy guru in my book, and told her and she confirmed it was braxton hicks. Such a weird thing. I have gotten them here and there, and find that if I am doing too much or not drinking enough water they are worse. So water I am drinking. Whew. They wear me out. Sure I have to pee ALL the time, but I guess its better than not having any energy. Or going into labor at 26 weeks. Yikes.

I guess I should start taking pictures of my baby belly. I took a few with Zander in the last few months, because I didn't really start showing (baby, you could always see jiggle!) until the last few months. Haven't taken any this time. My Mom thinks this baby is going to feel left out if there are no pregnancy pictures of it. Well, it will just have to get used to it, because sadly, the first child always has more baby pictures to look at. Its just a fact of life. Right, all you first children?? And even you second and thirds, you got over it, right? Just accepted the fact that your oldest sibling was more loved as a baby than you?!?! JUST KIDDING. My sister would be throwing a fit right now if she could read this. Shout out to the Weezer.

My resolve- to post more pictures and blog a little more. I have tons to write about!! Thanks for reading!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Easter Ideas

Hi. So we are having both sides of the family over for Easter on Sunday. It will be about 14 adults and 4 kids. We are skipping the traditional Ham dinner because we have 1 pm Church and don't really have time to put it all together. Plus, Chris isn't crazy about a ham dinner. I am not really, either, actually. We decided to have ribs. Yum. (kind of) Here is my delima- what to have with it?? Everyone is going to bring stuff, I just have to make suggestions.

And, what are some fun activities to do with everyone? Just about everything and everyone in this group revolves around the kids; our own source of entertainment! Any easy, cheap, decor activity ideas would be great! Thanks guys!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Zander Update

Some of you know, our little Zander man is still not walking yet, and has mastered his scooting technique. He can even get up and down stairs (closely supervised) on his hiney. It is pretty entertaining. The orthopaedic surgeon scheduled an MRI for last Friday and we saw the dr. on Monday of this week. The MRI was of his spine and is looked really good. Which is great news, except we still don't know why he isn't walking at 19 months. The ortho is not worried and thinks that with some physical therapy he will be fine. So we enter the world of PT. We have been warned by both the ortho and our pediatrician that we can easily be sucked into doing several different therapies every week, and they could make very little difference. Almost like when you go to the dentist to get a simple cleaning and before you know it you have been talked into spending thousands on veneers and tooth whitening kits. I mean, really!! What is necessary! While I have tons (well, a normal amount for a 21 week along pregnant woman) of energy now, I won't have all the time in the world when the baby gets here to be in therapy all week. Lets just hope the therapists are miracle workers and we only need 3 months of help!!

He finally learned to sit up on his own in his bed, which is great, except now he fights sleep more. Yesterday was dramatic. After letting him scream for 30 minutes, i went in to check the silence. I found him asleep, hunched over. Had to take a picture! Well, my camara/computer is being lame right now so I will have to post later.

He is talking quite a bit, too. His favorite words are oh no, uh oh, NO!, dog, what's that? here I am, and others. He will say thank you SOMETIMES, when we don't prompt him. We are working on 'love you' now, as well as 'thank you.' Two importants, i think!!

Girl Scout Cookies

I was sad to see this morning our supply of GS cookies is running low. And I think they are done selling them for the year. . . whine. HOWEVER- today while perusing the lovely world of blogging, I ran across a lady who figured out the recipes for some of our favorites!! I am SOO thrilled!! I am very tempted to try one of these recipes, like, right now, but need a few ingredients. I think I am going to make the Samoas tomorrow, as a suprise for Chris. They are by far his very favorite, and will totally dig them! Here is the site. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 26, 2009


I LOVE QUILTS. I think I always have. My mom started me off young on loving the textures, colors, and patterns of fabric and quilts just always seemed like art to me. BUT, I knew what kind of time, patience, and precision it took to make quilts like I had seen and knew I would get bored before I even had the pieces cut out. So for years I would just admire them from afar. THEN, a friend introduced me to strip quilting, explaining it was so much easier because you cut out long strips of fabric, sewed them together and then cut out smaller pieces, thus eliminating sewing together a million 2x2 squares of fabric. We set out on making a quilt for my brother Joel. Mind you this was early 2004. She started dating someone serious and our quilt project sort of disolved, although I had the pattern and the basic concept. For the next 3 years, I would sew bits together to give to Joel as his gift with the promise that I was going to finish it that time, and it never happened. FINALLY, my dear husband, knowing what motivated me, challenged me to get it done for Christmas 2007, but sort of put a little doubt in my head to really motivate me. I told him I would not buy one inch of fabric for the entire year if I didn't get that darn quilt finished before Christmas. SO, needless to say, Joel opened a great looking quilt that Christmas morning!! Ah, inspiration and motivation!! I didn't take any pictures of it, but want to use it for an exhibit so I will snatch it back and take some pictures. Its pretty darn cool.

This last fall I decided I wanted to learn how to 'quilt' quilt, meaning quilt the top, batting and bottom together, like in real quilts. (Versus tying them together). So I read up on it online and decided that pink and yellow fabric I had been collecting would make a really cute quilt for my mother in law, Sheila, and that would be a great time to practice!! I set out on it, deciding to use large blocks to minimize lots of small cuts. Plus I only had a month to get it done, and knowing HOW long it took to get Joel's done, I needed to hustle. Looking back I wished I would have just taken more time and used more interesting blocks. Oh well. I even stippled it on my machine, which once I got going was so much fun! Its like drawing with thread on fabric! NOW, this was my first stippling, so its not perfect and I have learned soo much in doing this project. But here are the results:

The first picture is the front of the quilt. Told you it could have been more interesting:

Here is the back, which I kind of like better than the front!!

And here is a close up of the stippling. I think I needed to do it closer together, then it would have puffed up a little more. Plus, the pattern was not consistent at all, which I know is ok to some degree, but I took it a little far.

So, that's my first ever stippled quilt. I have wanted to make one for Zander and his big boy bed for a while, and think i have decided on a pattern. That's my next project! This is the inspiration for Zander's quilt: . I am going to do it a little different, using slighly larger pieces. I have been collecting different shades of brown and blue fabric for this very purpose and am really excited to get going on it. Just hesitant, you know?? Wish me luck! Oh, here is a picture of the fabrics I want to use. Ah, I will post that later. Zander is asleep and I don't want to go digging through my stash and risk ruining nap time!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

More on Zander

I know- I go weeks without posting and here I am, twice in one day! Just had to update everyone on Zander's progress. He is officially a toddler! He turned 18 months old on Sunday; his half birthday is his uncle Joel's and cousin Jameson's real birthday! Anyway, we mentioned to his ortho doc in September that we were slightly concerened he wasn't walking yet. He told us walking under 18 months old is normal and only after 18 months is it abnormal for a child to not be walking yet. We were told to report back progress at 16-17 months and if he wasn't close they would run some tests. ( some of you know this story, sorry to bore you again!) Well, about 4 weeks ago I decided I had better e-mail the dr because he wouldn't even pull himself up, take steps as we held his hands, or even try to stand, even supported. The dr. decided to go ahead and schedule and MRI. It is scheduled for mid-March.

Just a few days later, what do you know, we grabbed his hands and he pulled up to standing! YEAH!! You would have thought he hung the moon, Chris and I were so excited! About a week and a half ago, he started half-way pulling up, by getting on to his right foot, and left kneee. And just the other day, he started pulling himself all the way up! At first it was only on the ottoman, but now he uses everything to pull up on. It just warms my heart. Yesterday I was gettting ready in our bathroom and he was playing around in my room. He came in the bathroom, slid the door open and just pulled himself up like he had done it for years. So fast! I had to take a picture- here it is!

One more quick story- Zander is gaining in his independence. A good thing, but also a very messy thing, as he really likes to feed himself. Now, if the food of choice is crackers or pretzels, fine, no worries from mommy. But when it is spagetti?? Holy cow,, what a mess. This was last nights dinner. EVERYWHERE. Cute, (again a little possesed) pictures though!!!

Zander's New Doo

We decided it was WAAAYYYY past time for Little Man to get a hair cut. It looked great fresh out of the bath and combed so nicely. As soon as it dried, though, it would fall into his face and he looked like a rag-a-mufffin. Just like his mom looks 90% of the time. . . Anyway, we opted to go short, give him a more little boy look. Here is a before picture- (warning- he looks a little possesed. He was just really excited!!)

Here is an after picture: We comb it up so its spikey. Although I need to investigate more products for his hair. The gel I have doesn't really last for more than 30 minutes. Either his hair is too thin or the gel is too heavy.
This isn't the best picture of him. He was kind of in a 'mood'. It looks really cute though, very grown up!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Due Date

I went and had an ultrasound this morning and found out I am 13 weeks pregnant! We have a due date of August 2nd. I am HOPING that once my Dr. sees this info he will disagree with the tech and say I am due a few weeks earlier. Then again, as long as its not PAST Aug 2nd, I will be ok. We just don't want the baby to come too close to Zanders birthday. I know, I am a total fanatic about my kids birthdays. I can't help it!! plus, have you seen Augusts birthstone?? PUKE!! If I would have planned it better, all my kids would have been born in April and October, so my mothers ring would be diamonds and pink stones. Perfect! September is Saphire, which is really pretty too.

I have a really cute ultrasound pic, where you can see the baby's face really well. I will scan it in and post it later. Right now Zander is fussing at me. He has ANOTHER cold and is getting wheezy. GREAT. The lovely life of a MOMMY!! I love it!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009


This is just too funny and too cute not to post. Last week Zander Man fell asleep in his highchair TWICE in the same day! He had never, to this point, even gotten sleepy while eating. Chris was home that day and we just cracked up the first time, and laughed very hard the second! Here are the pictures:

The Second Time

Anyone teaching bloging lessons???

SO, as Amy and Tammie commented, the recipes are NOT in the post, like I thought. I THOUGHT i was adding a link to the sites where the recipes are, but obviously not. Any tips?? Until I figure it out, the Oreo Fudge (actually called cookies and cream fudge, you know, copywrite laws), and comes from, the Nestle/Carnation website. The English Toffee recipe comes from Paula Dean on Food

Hope you all enjoy them!!


While I am here, my mom sent me an e-mail with a ton of links to crock pot recipes. I obviously don't know how to put the links in an e-mail, but if you want, I will send the e-mail, just e-mail me your address, or post it in a comment.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I was tagged!

Thanks Tammie, for tagging me!!

8 Favorite Shows:
1. Grey's Annatomy
2. Bones
3. House
4. Jon & Kate Plus 8
5. The View (sometimes)
6. Ace of Cakes
7. Chuck

8 Things I Did Yesterday:
1. Went to the store
2. Forgot to take Zander to get a shot
3. Took a nap
4. Did Laundry
5. Ate
6. Picked up Zander's toys
7. Fed Zander
8. Made Dinner

8 Things I Look Forward to:

1. Finding out how far the heck along I am!!!
2. Finding out if I can start going crazy with the PINK!!
3. Going out with Friends
4. A clean house. Why can't we really have house fairies???
5. Zander taking his first step
6. Many more babies
7. A little trip to see family in Febuary
8. Seeing long lost friends again

8 Favorite Restaurants:
1.Claim Jumper
2. Cheesecake Factory
3. Red Robin
4. Pizza Factory
5. Steer N Stein
6. Johnny Carino's
7. PF Changs
8. Del Taco

8 Things on My Wish list:
1. A Healthy baby to arrive in early to mid July
2. More energy
3. A housekeeper, or a bunch of older kids to do the job. . Ha HA HA!
4. Zander would start walking before we have to put him through lots of tests
5. That Jeannette heals soon from her trials
6. That those who are struggling financially will be blessed for their faithfullness and perserverence
7. That the Winco by us wasn't so ghetto. . . I am considering going to AV.
8. That I was caught up on my scrapbooking. (Good One, Tammie!!!)

8 People I Tag:
2. Amy H.
3 Shannon V.
4. Ceri
5. Michelle S.
6. I Don't really have any more blogger friends. . .
7. How
8. Depressing

Ahh, the mess is clean. Sort of. . .

So I managed to make my mess of cords all neat again, and found, in turn, the magical camera cord. Yeah! here are a few things I have been up to lately.

First off, here is one of my favorite treats. Chris and love to make candies and sweets during Christmas and this year we made Oreo Fudge, Toffee, and Haystacks. Here is the link to the fudge.

Here is a picture of the stuff I made:

Here is the English Toffee Chris made.

And here is the recipe. Thanks Paula!

My parents, actually, my Dad more, make toffee every year for Christmas. The recipe wasn't very definite in the amounts of ingredients so we went elsewhere. They were both great!!

And the last one, the haystacks, well, Chris won't let that recipe out. I know many of you may have made them, and have your own recipe, but this is one from his Grandma in Ohio and he doesn't like to share family recipes. What a brat!! Just kidding babe. Enjoy!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Well. . .

I was going to post some pictures of some funny things, recipes, stories, and such, but I cannot find the usb cord for my camara!!! I just took a picture to explain my predicament, but then soon realized, duh, how can I post a picture of the MESS of cords that is entraping my special cord, if I can find the darn cord! Here is the deal: We have lots of 'gadgets'. palm pilots, cell phones x10 (all old) computer components, things with ear phones, etc. They all have several different cords and they all end up in a tangled mess on my desk. I have taken some time to rubber-band each cord together, but not all have made it that far.

AND WHY does MY camara have to have a special cord any way?!?!!? Why cant it be the same as the others???? you know, usb one end, the little dented-rectangle shape on the end?? Oh well. I guess I will get back to my cord clean up. And Zander is starting to wine and the phone is ringing. Beter go. Here is to a better morning!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

SUCH a Slacker!

I know, Christmas was over 2 weeks ago and I STILL Haven't changed my blog. Things have been crazy!! We had a great Christmas, visiting with both sides of the family. Chris got a GPS, which we have had fun playing with, and I was given Guitar hero. I am such a dork, but I LOVE THIS GAME! I am NOT a video game person, that's Chris' department, but I love playing this. Especially with Chris, although he drives me crazy because he can already play on medium difficulty, and I am barely making it on Easy. Oh well. I Must practice!

We went to Vegas for New Years. My aunts and uncles and cousins on my mom's side still like to get together for the holidays, and instead of trying to get everyone together before Christmas this year, my Brillant cousin Brandi suggested we meet up in Vegas. Her family, mom, and brothers, all live there, so a third of the group didn't have to travel. Although not everyone could be there this year, we had a great time. We also spent some time with Jeannette and her family. They are going through a very difficult time right now with their unborn baby, and I think (hope) we were a positive distraction. It was nice to get away and just chill for about a week. Zander LOVED hanging out with all the kids, even when they were acting like monkeys at 1 am in the morning and waking him up!! Just teasing- I am grateful for their fun, spunky personalities. They all make me LAUGH!!

So I have a few new recipes I want to post on here, along with some little ditty's I did over the hollidays. I just need to upload my pics off my camara. It takes forever, for some reason, so I am really bad about doing it.

On another note, we are going to have another baby!! We have suspected we (well, I really,) were pregnant for a little while but the test confirmed it on December 9th. Funny story= I think I should have made this another post= I hadn't been feeling well for a few weeks, when I decided to take a test. I took it first thing in the morning, but only a line came up. The last batch of preg tests required a plus sign for a positive result. I threw it in the trash and went about my day. I was cooking dinner when I started to feel so nausous, like I was pregnat! I had a nagging feeling, so I went and checked the test and looked at the instructions, and sure enough, only a line was needed for a positive result!! I started laughing so hard!! What a blonde! Chris was due home in about 5 minutes so I excidedly waited at the door for him. When He came in I told him the story and he just laughed. We were so exctied because we are ready for more babies! Zander has been such a joy and so much fun that we want more! Although, a few days after we found out he started getting an attitude. GRRRRR!! Oh well. We told our families at Christmas by opening a gift for Zander. I found a shirt that had a monkey on it with the words Big Brother. No one really got it until we pointed out what it said. My mom flipped, and cried a few times that day. She kind of likes babies. . . just a little. . . Everyone was very excited. We are the only ones out of our siblings who are having kids right now, so I guess its kind of our privledge of sharing our babies!

Enough Already!! I hope you all had a great New Years! Here is to a new year full of projects, new recipes and babies!!