Friday, October 30, 2009

Trick or Treat

I got a package, I got a package, I got a package, hey, hey, hey!!

It's from my Grandma and Grandpa K.!!

Look what I got!!

I'm so excited about my new books!!

I love Corduroy! And to chew on books!

Thanks, Grandma and Grandpa!! I love my new books!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fun at the Park

On Sunday, we headed out to the local Pumkin Patch. Obviously, like everything else in our hometown, it was closed on Sunday. So we made a quick change of plans and went to the park to play. It was a good time spent as a family. And of course, I had my camera along. Enjoy!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Frozen Meals Continued...

Here are a few more recipes that I made today or plan to make when needed instead of freezing them. Enjoy!

Cheesy Chicken Dish- Easy, Easy, Easy meal to do in the crockpot. I halved the recipe for Ryan and I using only 3 large breasts, 1/2 C dressing, 1 small soup, and 1 cream cheese.

8-10 Chicken Breasts
3/4 C Italian Dressing
1 family size Cream of Chicken Soup
2 Packages of Cream Cheese
Pot of Rice

1. Place frozen chicken and dressing in crockpot on low for 4 hours.
2. During the last hour, mix the soup and cream cheese together and melt in microwave for 4 min. Add to Crockpot and turn on high for 1 hour.
3. Serve over rice.

Red Beans and Rice- Very good and quick meal to throw together and freeze. I tripled the recipe and made 3 gallon freezer bags 1/2 to 3/4 full.

1 Bush's Best Chili Hot Beans (I used 3 cans)
1 Del Monte Mexican Style Stewed Tomatoes with Jalepeno peppers and spices (I used 3 cans)
Ring Bologna Sausage (I bought two and it was plenty for tripling the recipe)

Cut Sausage into round disks or smaller and mix with canned beans and tomatoes. Throw into freezer bags or warm up on stove. Serve over rice.

Meatloaf- I used to freeze this, but I never have had it turn out as good when frozen. So now I just make it fresh.

1 1/2 lb. Ground Beef
1/4 C. Ketchup
2/3 C. Milk
3/4 C. Cracker Crumbs/oatmeal
1/4 C. Water
2 Beaten Eggs
1/4 C. Onion

Mix all ingredients in 9x9 pan or loaf pan. Add sauce on top before baking:

1/3 C. Ketchup
1 TBSP Brown Sugar
1 TBSP Mustard

Back at 350° for 1 hour.

Brown Rice- Easy side to a meal

1 Cup rice
2 Cans Beef Consomme
1/2 Stick Butter

Put ingredients in casserole dish and back covered 1 hour at 350°.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Frozen Meals

About two weeks ago, I went big time grocery shopping. I mean like Orin had to stay with a babysitter because I had no room for him in the cart. (And I didn't want him infested with the flu germs going around either.) So I had made a list of a bunch of items that would be needed to make frozen meals and easy crockpot meals. These are all easy meals to make or to freeze. I will add more as time allows. For now, I'm trying to get a few things made each week.

This is what I have made so far:

Lasagna: I doubled the recipe and made two 8x8 and 1 9x13)
12 lasagna noodles
1 lb ground beef, browned
1 jar Prego mushroom/onion spaghetti sauce
24 oz cottage cheese
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar Cheese
3 C. shreeded Mozarella Cheese

Brown ground beef and mix with Spaghetti sauce. Spread small amount of sauce on bottom of pans. Layer noodles, sauce, cottage cheese, and shredded cheeses (mixed) three times. Bake 30-40 minutes uncovered at 350°.

Chicken and Rice: I doubled the recipe and made 2 1/2 gallon freezer bags full.

Blend one can cream of chicken soup with 1 can cream of celery soup and 1 can of whole milk in a large bowl. Add 2 cups of cooked, cut up chicken, 3 cups cooked rice, 1/2 cup cubed cheese (I used velveeta), one can of tiny peas (drained). Mix all together, put in 9x13 and bake covered at 350° for about 1 hour. Instead, I put mine in gallon freezer bags to freeze. And if you double the recipe, you would obviously have two 9x13 pans full.

Twice Baked Mashed Potatoes: I doubled the recipe and made 3 8x8 pans.

2 lb. potatoes, cooked and drained. Mash potatoes and add 8 oz. cream cheese, 3/4 C sour cream, 1/4 C butter or Marg. and salt and pepper. Put in buttered pan and bake at 350° for 50 min.

Tator Tot Casserole: I didn't double this recipe. I made two 8x8 pans.

Pat 2 lbs. hamburger (not browned) in a 9x13 pan or two 8x8 pans. Add 2 cans of tiny drained peas. Spread two cans cream of chicken soup over top. Now is when to add cheese if desired. Cover casserole with 1 pound package of tater tots. Bake 1 hour at 350°.

Baked Chicken Breast: I cut up my chicken and placed in two 8x8 pans.
Cut up 4-6 raw chicken breasts. Or you can take 4-6 breast and place in 9x13 pan. Cover chicken with 6 slices of swiss cheese. Mix a can of cream of chicken soup and
a can of water. Pour over cheese. Prepare a box of stovetop chicken stuffing. Spread over all and bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes.

Hot Cocoa Mix:
1 box 8 quart size of instant carnation milk (9 cups)
1 Cup powdered sugar
1 6oz jar of preme or coffee mate (1 1/2 C)
1 lb can of nestles quick

Mix all together. Put 1/4 cup in a serving mug and fill with hot water. I keep mine in the freezer to make it last longer.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Our "Little Stinker"

Somebody got dressed up tonight and had so much fun. Here’s our little stinker all ready for the Halloween party. He’s pretty stinkin’ cute if you ask us!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Temporary Craziness

And the craziness has begun! I was starting to wonder if subbing would ever pick up, but indeed it has! I subbed Tuesday for 6th grade literature and then was asked to sub the rest of the week in the resource room. I had forgotten how much I love teaching Middle School! I never want to sub my weeks away. I really only plan to sub 2-3 days a week unless they are really in a bind. We'll see how that plan goes for someone who can't say no.

Orin has seen a variety of sitters all week, and I'm just craving some consistency for the poor little guy. At least they have been able to get him to take all of his bottles and some babyfood.

I have a new appreciation for working moms. I don't know how to get it all done when subbing everyday. Tonight, we actually ran out of clean bottles and we didn't realize it until it was time for his 8:00pm bottle. That's how crazy we have been lately.

It's the fall and winter rush for Ryan and the construction business. So with working on several construction projects at once and dealing with the coffee shop, he is pretty stressed and tired.

I would say we can't wait till the weekend, but our weekend brings even more craziness. Tomorrow evening is the Halloween party for all of us friends and kids. We all get dressed up, carve pumpkins, and eat lots of snacks. You know...all the fun stuff. Then Saturday, Ryan is working a half day. We have family pictures later in the afternoon, and then a family birthday party to go to that evening. Sunday is church and life group and then it is back to Monday already.

Aaagh, when can we just be hermits and stay home, sleep in, watch movies, be a family, do family things, laugh, cuddle, and play?? I'm craving family time. I'm craving quality time with my baby boy who I feel I haven't seen all week. I'm craving quality time with my husband other than at 11:00 at night when we both collapse into bed.

We know it's just a temporary craziness, but I'm about ready for it to be done! I'm ready for a slower pace.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

8 Months

Our baby boy is 8 months old today! Here are some of his current tricks:

-He wears 12-18 month clothes.
-He wears size 3 diapers.
-He sits up and is starting to really lunge for toys.
-He rolls everywhere.
-No crawling yet- we have put him up on his hands and knees.
-He's discovered his voice box- saying dada and screaming and roaring.
-He enjoys snuggling with mama before naps.
-He can’t sit still- always on the go.
-He has to be confined in the jumperoo when mama has to shower or be in a different room.
-He loves avocado! It is the only baby food he will open his mouth to eat. However, he has downed a jar of sweet potatoes and carrots in the last two days.
-He drinks 7 ounce bottles 4 times a day.
-We can get all those ounces down him, but it is still a trick and is quite the process.
-We use toys, the play mat, cell phones, whistling, singing, crazy faces, etc. to distract him to eat.
-He gets a mixture of solid food during the day- sometimes breakfast and lunch, sometimes lunch and supper. All depends on how he takes his bottles.
-He loves watching his cousins play and he especially likes when they play with and entertain him!
-Just in the last month was really the official beginning of him wearing shoes and actually keeping them on.
-He enjoys rolling around on the ground and "wrestling" with mama and daddy.
-He is very ticklish!
-Everything makes it into his mouth.
-He has started to find his thumb. Most times, I will find him sucking his thumb while taking a break in the jumperoo. I will admit, it is super cute, but I try to stop him to save him the embarrassment later on in life. (I was a thumb sucker forever, so I know all about the embarrassment of sleepovers!)
-He is in the very early stages of reaching up to the coffee table and trying to pull himself up.
-Mama is getting better at remembering to give him his sippy cup throughout the day.
-We recently took away his 7:00-8:00pm catnap. He was crabby for a few nights, but now he does really well! And we enjoy the extra time we get to spend with him each night.
-He still likes to wake up early from his afternoon nap. Usually he starts to stir between 3:15-4:00. And somedays, he doesn't wake up at all. I haven't figured out how to fix this other than taking away his evening nap.

Mommy and Daddy are trying to take in every minute we have with you. You are growing up so fast, and we don't want to take any of this baby stage for granted. We love you through and through, baby boy! Yesterday, today, and tomorrow, too!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My Very First Photo Shoot

Here is just a small preview of the photo shoot I did today of my niece and nephews. Check out facebook for several more pictures. I'm so happy with how the pictures turned out. I think they got some cute ones. I had so much fun!! Thanks, Kim, for giving me this opportunity! I loved it!

Oh, and I haven't posted their family picture they will be using for Christmas cards. I know that some of their family and friends read this blog, and I don't want to spoil the fun of receiving their Christmas card. :)

My Precious One

Baby boy,

You had a babysitter put you to sleep tonight while Mama and Daddy went to a church social event. When we got home, I just wanted to hold you and cuddle you one more time before bed.

So mama held you very slowly and rocked you back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And while I held you, I sang:

I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
My baby you'll be.

Eventually, we were both sleeping in the chair when Daddy found us and took these pictures.

I know life can get busy and it is easy to get overwhelmed with my "To Do" list for each day. But tonight, I simply desired time with you in my arms, and I thanked God for placing you into our lives. I listened to your breathing, I stared into your sleepy eyes, I smelled your freshly shampooed hair, I prayed over you, and I realized how blessed I am to be able to cradle and rock my healthy, happy, ornery, spunky, and lovable baby boy.

Mama and Daddy love you so very much! In fact, we will love you forever! We will like you for always. As long as we're living, our baby you will be!

*Love You Forever by Robert Munsch

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Practice, and More Practice

I had to do a little practicing with my camera today, and there is no better subject to practice on than my little man. I'm trying to prepare for an outdoor photo shoot of my niece and nephews that will take place on Sunday. This will be my first time doing something like this, and I know everyone will be very patient with me. I'm slightly nervous, but I feel more confident after taking these pictures today. Isn't he just way too cute?? And a little ornery! :)

My Sweet Boys

After working a long hard day out of town (3 AM to 10:30 PM to be exact), Daddy couldn’t stand not seeing his little man before going to bed. This is what I found as I walked past Orin’s room.

My two sweet boys!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Look at our little baseball player! A few months back, Ryan and I bought this outfit at Once Upon a Child intending for it to be a regular daily outfit for Orin. But when I put it on him, I had visions of Halloween and thought it would be fun to add his baseball cap and pose him with a baseball bat from the toy box.

This would have been a perfect costume for him to wear at Halloween, but we have already purchased an equally as cute costume. We are keeping the real thing a secret until Halloween, but for now, you can enjoy the runner-up costume.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Snow, Snow, Go Away!

What is THIS?? It's only October 12!!