Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Kid Tested, Mother Approved

Elijah decided he needed some Kix for a snack this morning.

"Can I have some, Elijah?"...

Here you go...

"Could I have some more, please?"...

"Can you tell Brother to give me some more?"...

"Mom said you have to give me some more."...

"Do you like Kix, Papa?"...

We're just about to leave for Beau's Youth fundraiser tonight. I think it is a great idea. He is studying "phileo" love in the Bible which means "brotherly love". So, they are doing a Philadelphia fundraiser, eating Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches and Beau even dressed up as Rocky. Should be fun!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Snow Day

This is the first year ever that I have hated winter. I love winter. I love the food. I love the clothes. I love blankets. I love the feel of the cold on your face. Not this year. Its not the same when you have to work around kids. Having to get everyone buckled in while you're standing in the cold rain, worrying if they're warm enough... Elijah's first winter he was a newborn so it didn't matter, we didn't go out much. By his second winter he was walking. No, scratch that, he was running around and I could bundle him up and he'd play till he needed to be thawed out. This winter is different. I can't go outside and play with Elijah because Sadie can't go outside and play. And, being stuck inside in a house this small is really being STUCK in. We are so ready to be in our big house! okay, so lets get to it.
Before heading off to preschool, he was so excited about the snow!...
After getting home from preschool (early dismissal). A tad more snow...
He and Beau working on a snow man...
Making a face like the snow man. I don't know where he comes up with this stuff...
Warming up with some homemade hot chocolate. I love the toboggan hair!...
Love that chocolate mustache...

I have a cold. I guess its not really allergies. I have just felt worse and worse as the day goes on. I'm sure the intense weather changes don't help too.

For dinner tonight we had Mexican Skillet Pasta. I'm sure you're wondering where I got my Mexican Skillet, but its just a normal skillet. It was super easy and definitely kid friendly. Even Sadie ate a bunch of it.

1 lb ground beef (or turkey)

1 jar mild salsa

1 15 oz can tomato sauce

1 1/2 C water

1 lb pasta (I used corkscrew)

1 bag niblet corn (frozen corn)

grated cheese

Ground and drain beef. Add remaining except cheese. Reduce heat, cover and cook until noodles are just tender, stirring occasionally. Add cheese before serving. We had a green salad with this. Easy peasy.

Monday, February 22, 2010

This week's menu...

This week will be a little different. I have a menu for every night this week (except Thursday when I work and Beau prefers leftovers) but realized after talking to Beau, I'm not going to have to cook every night because of youth activities. So let's get to it...
Sunday we had small groups for lunch and leftovers for dinner
Tonight we're having Chicken and Dumplings. I am making a double batch and taking some to a girl from work who just had a baby. I'm also sending some Amish bread. Sounds good, especially since it got cold today.
Tuesday I think we'll have Mexican Pasta Skillet
Wednesday is a fundraiser for the youth at church - Philly Cheese Steaks!
Thursday I work
Friday Beau may be going to a youth rally so I'll have to wait to see if I'll cook.

Chicken and Dumplings (this recipe is actually from Weight Watchers, which I've never done, but I came across the recipe and it is De-Lish!) I'm going to use the measurement from the recipe, but I just throw in however much I want really, be flexible (that means you, Aimee!)

1 lb skinned, boned chicken breast cut into pieces
*side note: I prefer shredded chicken. I put a whole chicken (on sale at HEB) in the crock pot last night on low with about 1/2 C water and viola...juicy shredded chicken.
1 C slivered onions
1 C thinly sliced celery
2 C sliced carrots
2 T flour
3 1/2 C broth
1 tsp dry thyme
1/4 pepper
1 C biscuit mix
1/3 C milk
Saute onions, celery, carrots and chicken (if using raw pieces) in EVOO until tender. Sprinkle in flour. Cook 1 minute. Gradually add broth, stiring well. Add 1/2 tsp thyme and pepper. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 1 mins, stirring occasionally. (if you used cooked, shredded chicken add it with thyme and pepper)
Combine 1/2 tsp thyme, biscuit mix and milk in small bowl, stir well. Drop by small spoonfulls into soup. Do not stir. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 15 mins.

I have another tip. I make this in double batches every time I make it. I don't double the broth though. Once its cooked (before the dumplings) I take half out and put it in a freezer bag or container and freeze it. Then I add the extra broth and continue making the soup. With the batch in the freezer you can do so much. Thaw it out overnight in the fridge and either add more broth and dumplings or a box of gnocchi to make soup again or use it to make Chicken Pot Pie with pre-made pie crusts. Or top with mashed pots for a Chicken Shepherd Pie. Or top with cooked Long Grain and Wild rice for a Savory Chicken and Rice. The possibilities are endless. Well, not endless, but there are a lot.

Okay, I don't have time to post the Mexican Skillet Pasta. I'll try to do that tomorrow. I need to go get my Amish bread started. Happy Cooking!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The yellow one is the sun!

I was a little confused about something I saw in the sky today, but after Beau reminded me, I remembered it was the sun! After church and small group lunch we came home and put the kids down. We immediately headed outside to bask in the glorious warm sun. After about 30 minutes Elijah got out of bed and came looking for us. He said, "you're outside?" we said "yes" he said "can I come?" He hasn't played outside in I-don't-know-how-long so I said yes and he got so excited. First he wanted to play his new game.

Its not actually a new game, Crystal got it for him at Christmas. However, since its animals he just wanted to play with the pieces. Friday I finally got him to gather up all the pieces so we could see how it works. You set up the small animals and you "tag" them with the giraffe when the giraffe tells you which one to tag. I know, that didn't make much since, but whatever. Elijah LOVES it. And he can play it by himself and one of the versions of the game has him running around burning energy so I love it! It is a little loud for our little house so on Friday I took some toilet paper and my medical tape and made a mask over the giraffe's face (where the sound comes out). Well Elijah threw a huge fit, just bawling his eyes out for me to take it off. He said the giraffe couldn't breath. I was covering up his face and eyes. I was afraid he was going to call PETA so I took it off. He has carried it around all weekend, everywhere we go, in his backpack so he can play it whenever he wants. Did I mention he loves it?

After playing his game for a while in the back yard he asked if he could paint. I got him all set up and he made me a masterpiece.

Sadie has something new too (well, new to her). I showed her how to use it. She tried...

And fell...

Elijah is so interested in reading. I am glad he's interested and wants to learn, but I know nothing about teaching a 3 year old to read. We've just been spelling a lot of words for him and sounding things out when he asks. I don't know if he'll actually be reading soon, but I wouldn't be surprised. The kid loves to read. His new favorite show is Super Why on PBS. Its all about a super hero kid, Super Why and the Super Readers. They read a story and then if there's a problem they change the story to solve the problem. Anyway, so now if Elijah wants or doesn't want something he'll say its not part of the story. For example, if he doesn't want to eat his green beans he'll say "The story says 'Elijah doesn't like green beans'" Then we have to figure out how to change the story (but sometimes we can't). I think its so funny (most of the time).
Sadie's getting better, we're still moving on with the buying/selling house situations. Our house in Alvin closes on Friday and our house here closes March 5th. Which is next week. I totally didn't realize March is next week! Even though my birthday is next Wednesday I still didn't realize it. For anyone who knows me very well you know this is weird because I usually start counting down my birthday at the end of January. I guess we've had a lot going on!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Potato Soup

I made Potato Soup for dinner tonight. It was, as usual, mmmm mmmm good. I love potato soup.

Potato Soup

diced onion
crushed red pepper
red potatoes
diced ham
shredded cheese

Okay, Aimee, calm down. I know there are no measurements on anything. There doesn't need to be. I don't have any measurements, you can do this!! (I know she will never make this unless I add measurements, even if they're made up)

Dice up the potatoes, no need to peel. Boil in water (save at least 1-2 cups f the water). While the potatoes are cooking. Saute the onions in either 3 or so TBS of butter or a butter/EVOO mixture. Add black and red peppers. Once the onions are soft add a few TBS of flour and cook 2-3 minutes. Add in a little of the starchy potato water at a time (like you're making gravy). Add drained potatoes. Add milk. I'm going to say about 3 cups but it just depends on how soupy you want it. I just pour until I like how soupy it is. Tip: if it gets too soupy you can add some cornstarch mixture or some instant potato flakes to get it as thick as you want. Add ham. Okay, here's another thing. I use whatever is on sale or whatever I have. This time I bought a chunk of ham. Its big enough to use for 2 meals. I've also used Canadian bacon and real bacon. But I don't really like real bacon because I like to have a lot of meat and too much bacon is not a good thing. Simmer for a bit (I don't know, Aimee, like 10 minute or so). Add cheese. You shouldn't need any salt in this. The ham and cheese take care of that. I made some french bread with this. Beau said it was Top 5.

The kids and I stayed home tonight instead of going to church. Sadie has another ear infection in both ears and is on antibiotics. We've also all 3 been holding on to a cold so I decided to keep us home tonight and put the kids in bed early. Anyway, the three of us were eating dinner and Elijah said, "Mom, did you know Jesus taked away all of our sins?" I said, "I did know that". He just nodded, like "okay" and went on eating. I love him.

Please, if you will, pray for wisdom for Beau and I. We have a few days to decide if we want to go forth with it. We put in a new off for the seller to come way down considering the ton of money that will have to be spent. If its "meant to be" for us to have this house we really hope he goes for it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Dollop of Disappointment

We had "our house" inspected this morning. It was a little disappointing. There are quite a few things that have to be fixed and should cost us quite a bit of money, but we got a good deal on the house so that's okay. However, the fireplace is completely falling apart and either has to be rebuilt or have a firebox inserted in it if its going to be useful. That is not good. Its going to cost a BUNCH of money and its something that we feel has to be done. Not necessarily now, but it does have to be fixed. A fireplace is very high on our list of things we want in a house. So now we have about 4 guys coming back to the house in the morning to give us estimates on all the repairs. Then we have until the end of the week to decide if we want to go through with the purchase. So we're a little disappointed. Please pray that 1) The seller will pay for (at least) the fireplace repair and 2) That God gives us the wisdom to know what to do.

Dinner tonight is Cajun Chicken and Rice. Its one of my favorites...

Sliced bell pepper
Sliced onion
1 box red bean and rice mix + water
2 C shredded cooked chicken (You can buy a rotisserie chicken and shred it. Or to save some money, I put some plain chicken in the crockpot this morning.)
1 bag baby spinach
scallions and hot sauce

Saute onions and peppers in olive oil. Stir in red beans and rice mix with water (amount on box). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 7 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir in chicken and spinach. Continue cooking and stirring until spinach wilts. Serve with chopped scallions and hot sauce if desired. Mmmm!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Dinner Catch-up

So I haven't done a very good job staying up on this whole daily dinner deal. I'm only going to do this, though if anyone cares. So please leave me a comment if you want me to continue. If not, I'll stop. Okay, so here goes...I left off on Feb 3rd.

Thursday I made one of my new favorite recipes. It is the easiest crockpot meal, if not the easiest meal ever. I did this on Thursday morning from before I left for work and it took me literally 3 minutes from the time I dug my crockpot out to the time I hit start! Love it! It is Crockpot Chicken and Black Beans. I served it as chicken tacos. I realized though that it would make a great soup, just double the broth and maybe add some corn or something. It was so good!

Friday we had leftovers. Saturday we were at Brook's party. Sunday we went to a Superbowl party. I made 5 layered 7-layer dip. Monday I made Feta stuffed Chicken.

Feta Stuffed Chicken

A few spoonfuls of light mayo

small container of feta cheese

1 box thawed and dry spinach

4-6 chicken breasts butterflied and flattened



Mix mayo, cheese and spinach. Fill each breast with filling. Roll up wrap in 1 or 2 slices bacon. Sprinkle with paprika. Place on wire rack on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

I served this on couscous with a salad.

I worked on Tuesday so Beau was in charge. I don't know what they ate and its probably better that way.

Wednesday Aimee came and I knew I would want to be visiting instead of cooking dinner so I put something in the crockpot before she got here. We had Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Sandwiches.

Slow cooker BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

1-2 lbs chicken (I use tenders, but you can use breast, thighs, whatever)

1/2 onion chopped

1/2 cup ketsup

2-3 Tbsp Worstersire sauce

3 Tbsp brown sugar

minced garlic

chili powder, however much you like

Provolone cheese

hoagie rolls

Add everything except cheese and rolls to crockpot. Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4. It doesn't really matter. I noticed mine was a little soupy so I left the lid off for an hour or so to let some of the liquid evaporate. Serve with cheese on rolls.

I served this with Sweet Potato Fries. I know...but listen, they are SO good. Cut up sweet potatoes into fries. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake at, oh I don't know, 375 for about 20 mins I guess. Its not rocket science, watch them, when they're done, take them out. It works best if you flip them once or twice while they're cooking. Keep in mind these aren't regular potatoes and they're not fried so they won't be crispy, but they're still great. Even with ketsup.

Thursday we had Lentil Soup with cornbread. It was very good. Sadie even liked it.

Friday we went out to Ninfas and I had Crawfish Enchiladas! Part of me wishes I had that recipe because it was fabulous and the other (sane) part of me knows I don't need the recipe because I bet the calorie count was outrageous!

Saturday we had a Valentine's Banquet at church. Lasagna. Mmmm

Today, Sunday, I made a new recipe, thank you Katy! Cranberry Chicken. Katy told me about this. She made it in the oven. I wanted to come home to it already made for lunch after church so I put it in the crockpot. Either way is good. It was very good. Beau said he definitely wants it again.

Crockpot (or not) Cranberry Chicken

1-2 lbs or however much, I don't know, I just threw in a bunch of frozen chicken

1 can cranberry sauce

a few glugs of katalina dressing

one packet of onion soup mix

Put all in crockpot. Cook on high for 4 hours. Now. I used frozen tenders. If you used frozen breasts it may take a tiny bit longer, but if the breasts were thawed I'd count on 4 hours. If you you need more time, just put it on low. If you want to cook it in the oven put your thawed chicken in dish. mix other ingredients in a bowl and pour over chicken. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes.

Monday we're having Chili Hash brown Casserole. I don't think I've given you this recipe. If I have just ignore the next line.

Cheesy Hash brown Chili Casserole

I'll try to pick back up on Tuesday!

Happy Valentine's Day!

I don't remember the last time Valentine's Day was on a Sunday. I know, I was 7 years ago...whatever. I put lunch in the crock pot this morning (more about that later) and we came home after church for a family dinner. It was nice...Sunday is usually our only time to go out to eat and its usually with friends from church. After lunch I told Elijah I had a surprise for him. I said "On Valentine's Day you give your Sweetheart and box of chocolates" I asked him who his Sweetheart was. "Emma Kate" he said (a girl from his Sunday school class). Nice. I retorted with, "Well you're my Sweetheart" and gave him his first box of chocolates....

After nap time we decorated our traditional red velvet cake...

I know sprinkles aren't normally on red velvet cakes, but they're more fun for a 3 year old...

My two Sweethearts (Sadie can get chocolates next year. I have a strict policy that you don't get chocolates until you have more than 4 teeth)...

Then we had to taste it...


When your belly is full you must retire to the couch to watch Word World...

We've had a lot going on that I need to blog about. I need to catch you up on recipes from the last week. I also need to blog about the little fact that we bought a house!!! To clarify a bit, we've signed a contract on a house. We have the inspection on Tuesday that will tell us if we'll go through with the deal. Our house in Alvin closes on the 26th and if everything goes okay with that we'll close on the new house here on March 1st. What a birthday present!! More about that later!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

4 Kids = No Relaxing

Aimee decided to drive all the way up here to see me with a 1 year old and a new herself!! That is true love! We had a great time, although it may be more relaxing if we didn't have so many kids!!

Save money...bathe together!

Thursday morning we took the kids to a Jump House since the weather was HORRIBLE! It was fun. I didn't even know we had a jump house. Boys waiting to go inside...

Self portrait...

Then she was let loose...

The climb up...

The slide down...

This slide was HUGE. I think I would have been a little scared. Elijah, however was not...

What a great idea!!

Friday morning.
I think Grayson was feeling a bit crowded...

Getting a little tired of each other. Grant would push...

And Elijah would push back...

But Thomas the Train solves all our problems...

Our attempt at a group picture...
Those are my kids still in their pj's. I won't tell you what time it was!
We had a great time! I love you Aimee. But next time can we leave the kids at home with their dads and we'll go somewhere!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Very Fairy Birthday

Saturday we drove to Pawpaw and Juju's for Brooklyn's 5th Birthday Party. It was a Fairy party. We had a great time. Here are a ton of pics...

My precious fairy...

I can't believe I found these tiny wings! I was at a resale shop trying to find something else and as I was checking out I asked if they might have any of their Halloween stuff left, that I was looking for fairy wings. They said they just had someone drop some off. They were these tiny little wings. I was on my way to buy all the stuff to make them. So glad I asked!!

Elijah was in Heaven because he found some one to swing him. We are really missing our swing set right now!...

There was even a pinata...

My other sweet fairy.

It is absolutely impossible and unrealistic to try and explain to a 3 year old that everyone gets to wear fairy wings and he doesn't. So I did some research...yes research...and there are boy fairies (Fern Gully) and they had more dragonfly-ish wings. So, 4 hangers, 2 pair of knee highs, masking tape, elastic and 20 minutes later you have...

Elijah helping Brook blow out her candles...

Heather trying to solidify her spot as favorite aunt by feeding Sadie ice cream...

Me and my fairy...

This is why I love buying gifts for Brooklyn. I didn't get her this, but this is her expression after every gift.

All the little fairies...

Eat. Her. Up!!

I love the way she has her little foot. She is just so fun! We had a great time!