Kendall and Noah played so nicely today. In the afternoon, they decided they were going to play King and Queen and use our new outdoor bar chairs for their thrones. Kendall had to get dressed up and put on a crown, and then she dressed Noah in her penguin bathrobe...and check out his "crown". It's a party hat he made at school...and I think he looks more like the Pope than a king, but hey, who am I to say??? And get this...when Kendall was performing Noah's "coronation ceremony", she actually made him bow to her. Not that halfway, bend at the waist bowing, but the full on, kneel and put your forehead on the floor deal. It was HILARIOUS!!! Noah clearly does not understand the King-Queen dynamic just yet.
Here you go, Kate! Hope you like them! But just a little FYI for ya...these are in NO WAY healthy, but they are still incredibly yummy! Besides, everything in moderation, right? ;0)
Grandma Cindy's Stuffed Peppers
4 med. green bell peppers 1/2 lb. bulk sausage 1 pkg chicken flavored Stovetop stuffing 1 3/4 c. water 8 oz. whole corn 1 c. shredded cheddar
Halve peppers, and parboil for 5 minutes. Drain, and place in shallow dish in 1/8" water. Brown sausage, and add vegetable seasonings packet from stuffing mix with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6 minutes. Add crumbs and corn and stir until moist. (Note: when I made this yesterday, I noticed that Stovetop no longer separates the seasoning packet from the actual stuffing, so I just added it all together in this last step...it turned out just as good!) Spoon mixture into peppers. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes. Top with cheese and bake for 5 more minutes.
Well, with Barry finally home, it was high-time for some good cookin'!
Sheri had planned to come out last night for dinner and also for Barry to help her with some financial planning stuff, so that was a perfect opportunity! I had to work from 10-1:30, and then I ran to the grocery on my way home so that we'd have everything we needed.
So, first up is Grandma Cindy's Stuffed Peppers. Now these are really different from the normal stuffed peppers you see. They are stuffed with Stovetop Stuffing, corn, and sausage...and topped with cheddar cheese. I don't know where Mom got the recipe for these, but they are so good! In fact, the first time I had stuffed peppers somewhere other than home, I was completely speechless and grossed out! I couldn't believe they had rice and tomato sauce on them...LOL!! Anyway...check it out, peeps!Next is sirloin steaks on the grill...OMG, were these awesome! Our friends Paul and Kirsten raise steers and this past fall, asked if we were interested in buying some beef when they butchered. Of course we were interested! This is our first set of steaks from that cow, and they were sooooo tender and flavorful! I was having a bit of a struggle coming up with something to make for dessert while Barry and Sheri were talking finances. Then, in a moment of genius, I remembered buying a big container of strawberries at Sam's Club the other day. And, I happened to have whipping cream in the fridge...so, without further ado, I present to you my homemade strawberry shortcake!!! It was a hit with everyone, but most especially these two...Oh my, with this fun and productive weekend, what on earth will Sunday bring??? I can hardly wait!
Barry made it home with no problems, thank goodness! We were so happy to have him home! Kendall came down in the middle of the night and crawled into bed with him, wrapping her arms around his neck and saying "Welcome home, Daddy...". He couldn't bear to take her back to her room after that! Anyway, isn't her little sign cute? I was going to make cookies, as she requested, but when I went to get all my ingredients together, we were out of brown sugar! So instead, I made a chocolate cake with some seriously good Peanut Butter Chocolate Frosting, a vegan recipe from the Moosewood Collective. IT WAS DEEEE-LISH!!!
So with Barry home and the weekend ahead, we got to work. On Friday, I had gone into Marshalls and picked up these bamboo drawer organizers...and I got to work on my utensil drawer and 2 other drawers that desperately needed weeded out and organized... Now I know I didn't show you the "before" pictures, but just trust me that the "after" pictures are an amazing improvement! Now, let's just see how long I can keep it all clean like that!
A couple of weeks ago, a restaurant in town went out of business and auctioned off a bunch of outdoor log furniture. Barry went, and picked up two of these barrel tables for $35 each. We are going to power wash them, stain them, and paint the iron fittings black. And of course, add some nice umbrellas! At Sam's Club on Friday, we found casual-style black wrought-iron bar chairs that will look really good with the tables once we have them finished. And the best part? The chairs were only $30 each! Barry got to work replacing the roof on the kids' playset. This fall, the wind here was so intense that it ripped the fabric roof right off. We decided right then and there that it would need to be replaced with something a little more sturdy, so Barry had a plan. And here he is, implementing that plan!Then he put up 2 sections of spouting where (for some unknown reason), the company that did our spouting forgot these 2 little sections in the corners of our bump-out...so the rain would just pour right off there onto the deck. Barry took care of that! Oh yeah, and we picked this little set up at Sam's too...it actually is from the same set as the bar chairs! These chairs were $20 each and the table was $30. We were really impressed with the quality...so we picked up this set for our front porch! The bar chairs look just like these, except taller, of course! That's it for today...but there's more to come as we still have a day or two left of the weekend! Who knows what all we'll get done? I've been crossing things off my list! Woo-Hoo!!!
A reason to smile...Barry is coming home tonight! The kiddos and I have had a pretty good week, but I will admit that I am starting to miss the adult interaction...and my hubby in particular! Kendall has a plan for a welcome-home party tomorrow (since Barry will get in tonight after the monkeys have gone to bed), and she has been working on decorations this week, and has also requested that I make cookies. We'll see. I'm working until 7:30 tonight, so maybe I'll have time when I get home before he rolls in.
Other than that, I am happy to report that my big redecorating projects are going really well! I can't wait to share with you all, but I have a little bit of finish work and shopping to do first. I'm so excited! Wow, I guess Spring is definitely here...changes are a-happenin' and I feel energized! And that's a good thing, because Barry and I have worked up a list of 24 home improvement projects that we want to finish before winter starts again...and one of those is building a garage! So...I guess we'll be plenty busy this spring and summer!
So I've been a single parent for the last couple of days. Barry is on a business trip, and I am holding down the fort. Things have been going really well, actually! But just now, I heard Noah calling me to come get his cup...and I went in to the completely dark room (his nursery is only accessible through our room), and I lost my bearings and ran face first into the door frame!!! CRAP!!!
My first inclination, of course, was to yell, "DAMMMITTT!!!". But I didn't. Instead I checked for blood while my eyes were watering. I had hit the corner of the door frame squarely on my forehead and nose.
No blood. Good.
Then I started giggling. And now I can't stop! I know how funny it would have looked, had anyone been able to see!
Yeah, this is definitely one of "those stories" that Barry always tells me I shouldn't tell people. I think he's concerned I may look silly!
In case you didn't know, I'm slightly obsessed with The Office. Any of you watch it???
Seriously, you know things are getting bad when:
You really consider the main characters "your friends".
Every time you see a navy blue Sebring, you totally expect to see Michael Scott driving. Possibly even with Dwight in the car.
You can quote every episode from Seasons 1-3, and can find a quote for every occasion.
You can watch it every single night for months on end. I have been doing this for a year. I have seasons 1-3 on DVD and there is always one in the DVD player. I watch an episode every night before bed so I can end the day on a good note.
Your very young children know all the characters, and when asked what movie they want to watch, often reply...yep, you guessed it..."The Office"!
You feel the need to constantly retort "That's what she said" whenever possible. This can become quite an issue of professionalism, especially in my case. Being a massage therapist really puts a unique spin on "that's what she said". For instance, quite often I hear "Do I feel really tight?" Um, yeah..."that's what she said!" And I have to tell myself "NO, NO, NO, NO!!! Don't say it!" Or how about this one..."You can go deeper." OMG. Lord, help me. Or even, "I can't BELIEVE how good that feels!" Do you see why this is a problem????
So yeah, I have a slight obsession... a sickness, I tell you.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! I saw this on my friend Missy's blog, and had to share because it made me giggle! Look closely and observe the little "pasties" on that bunny! And the little dollars tucked into the bunnies' panties! Too funny!
There are definitely some people out there who have too much time on their hands...
So I'm sure you wanted answers about that last post. And I'm going to give them to you...really, I am. In just a minute. (she laughs a sinister Dr. Evil laugh...)As I stated earlier today, I started off my day at Stile Salon & Day Spa with the fabulous Damon. I love going there. The experience of Damon washing and cutting and styling your hair is like no other...you would honestly believe he has nothing else he would rather do that day. And the way he washes your hair...I cannot even describe. But let it just suffice to say that my eyes roll back in my head and my mouth hangs open during that part of my appointment. It's all I can do to keep my leg from twitching like a dog's does when you rub it's belly. Seriously. Ah, but I digress...
First stop was my Mom's house, where we stopped to pick up one of those little Jeeps that the kids can drive around the yard. Mom had picked in up at a sale someone was having and with the weather getting nice, we figured the kids would be ready to get outside and have some fun with it. Noah kept his eye on that thing the rest of the day. He was convinced it was going to just fly right out of the bed of the truck. All we heard about was his Jeep.
Then we headed to my Grandma and Grandpa's to pick up a set of mattresses they were giving us for Noah's new room. They got a new puppy last summer...a little Laso Ahpsa named Boomer. All the great grandkids love Boomer, and my kids are no exception. He kept trying to eat Kendall's hair and Noah chased him around with a little lawnmower that made hideously annoying noise. Then we were off to the bowling alley for Easter. Ok, ok, you've been patient, so here's the story. Last year, my MIL called and asked us what we would think about doing something a little less traditional for Easter. See, the weather here in Ohio is completely unpredictable around this time of year. The Easter egg hunts are never a sure thing, and then the kids get moody and it becomes a pain. Plus, she really didn't want anyone to go to a bunch of trouble to put together a big meal. So, she had an idea to do our Easter get-together at the local bowling alley because all the kids love to go bowling...and to have pizza because all the kids love pizza, and no cooking is involved (and their pizza is really good)! No worries about the weather either, so it all works out. Yeah, I know it wasn't as great of a story as you were thinking it would be, but hey...you're still with me, aren't ya? Here are a few pics from our bowling alley experience...
Noah, loving the ball return.
I decided to have a beer. I wasn't sure what I wanted, but ordered a Leinenkugel Red. Who knew they would serve it in a Mason jar? Seriously. But it was gooood...Of course, what Easter celebration would be complete without a basket of candy?Noah, getting excited about the fact that his ball was actually going down the MIDDLE of the lane...Kendall thinks it's great to have cousins...even when they live far enough away that we don't see them very often...Noah's famous pouty face...he was mad because it was one of the other kids' turns and he wanted to "push" the ball.
All in all, it was a fun and successful trip. The kids were really good and boy, were we happy about that! And now that we are finally home, it's time for a hot bath and then some Easter "duties" for Barry and I to finish up. Have a happy Easter, everyone. I hope the big bunny brings you some Reese's peanut butter eggs, or at the very least some Cadbury mini-eggs! And oh yeah...DEATH TO THE PEEPS! I HATE THOSE THINGS!
Yesterday, my friend Heather drove to my house (she lives an hour away) to help me do some painting. This is a big deal...at least to me. See, I have a lot of *great* ideas for my house, yet I lack follow-through. And getting started is the biggest part of the problem. Once I start, I'm golden! Anyway, she LOVES to paint. AND, possibly even more importantly...she is a perfectionist! So when she offered to come up and help me, how could I say no? Especially after she told me she loves to trim...and I could just roll the centers of the walls. Yeah, I'm serious. Aren't you all jealous that she's MY friend??? Would you like her phone number??? HA! I will post pictures, I promise. But nothing is finished, and I'd really like to have it all done up before I present it to the world! Just let me say this...so far everything looks AWESOME. Oh yeah, and in case I haven't been clear lately...I HAVE THE BEST FRIENDS!!!!!!
After I got everything up to a stopping point with the painting, I had to get ready for Bunco with the ladies. While I was out with my girls (and let me tell you, it was fun...as always!), Barry and the monkeys colored our Easter eggs. There had really been no opportunity this week, and since we will be gone all day today...it had to be done, whether I was there or not. So, here are the pictures of the festivities. I think they did just fine without me, don't you??? Now I have to go get my butt in gear...I have a hair appointment at 9:00 and then I have to get back here so we can head to my mom's to pick up the little jeep for the kiddos, my grandparent's house to pick up a set of mattresses for Noah's new bed, and then to our family Easter celebration at the bowling alley...yeah, I know you have questions about that one. I'll answer them later tonight when we get home! Happy Easter!
Today is my sister's birthday! Yesterday my day completely fell apart, as one of my corporate clients had to cancel due to a department meeting and then my first client at my office forgot about her appointment...but I digress. With Kendall and Jessie both being on spring break this week, Jess had agreed to spend the day with her on Tuesday and Thursday while I worked. Since my day fell apart, Kendall and I thought it would be fun to take Jessie out for an early birthday lunch and some shopping! We went to Eastern Bay for some chinese...YUM!!! Here are Kendall and her Aunt Jess goofing off for my camera... And here is Kendall with her favorite chinese dish, chicken lo mein (aka chinese spaghetti!)...do you think she finished off that huge plate of noodles??? After lunch, we decided that no birthday is complete without ice cream, so we headed to DQ for blizzards. Jess and I had no problem finishing ours, but Kendall just couldn't do it. (And to be honest, I'm glad about that. She probably would have gotten sick!) Then we decided a little retail therapy might be just the thing for us girls, so we headed to Kohl's. Here is Kendall modeling some sunglasses that she thought reminded her of Grandma Cindy...although I'm not sure I've ever seen Grandma Cindy strike that kind of pose before!!! So here's to you, Jess! Have a happy birthday today...and I'm sure you have some kind of great night planned, so have fun! Love you!
Ok, ok, I know I've been a little lax with the posting here in the last week or so. But, in my defense, March has been an incredibly busy month...and will continue to be until it's over! Today it was supposed to get into the upper 50's...but it didn't quite make it. We had scheduled time to go over to Deetra's since Kendall is on Spring Break, and the kiddos had been itching to play. So we headed over and let the kiddos play outside on the playset. It was CHILLY!!! I think it only got to 43 or so...but the kids had a great time, so that's all that matters! And Deetra's friend Kristin came over with her two little boys, Noah and Eli...the more, the merrier!!!Noah, Kendall and Shea in the tire swing... Snack time!We even took Scout over to play with Chief...those two were quite entertaining, to say the least. Scout was beside himself to have a playmate! Unfortunately, they decided that the best place to roll around and wrestle in the yard was this big mud spot... When we were all sufficiently tuckered out, I brought the kiddos home for a little rest and got dinner ready for Barry and the kids. Then, I got ready to go out for my Monday night with Sheri...girl time is important!! Yeah, big exciting night...we went to the paint store to buy paint for my powder room, great room, and Noah's new room! HA! But the girl at Sherwin Williams was a huge help, and so was Sheri....wasn't that nice of her to pose for this picture, knowing full well she would be featured on my blog??? Notice she's not wearing any green! She claims she was sick of it after being cold all day in her short sleeved shirt...well, she looks toasty now...just not very "St. Patty's-like"! After we completed that task, we decided that we couldn't let St. Patty's Day go by without a little celebrating, so we headed to the Rusty Bucket for some deep fried pickles (YUM!) and fish and chips. Oh yeah...and a Killians Irish Red!!!That's it folks...hope you had time to do a little celebrating too!
As if I needed another reason, right? What's not to like? She's an Aires (just like me), we both love ice cream and chocolate more than the normal individual can understand (and we're both quite snobby about our choices!), she's kind, generous, quick-witted, and has a killer sense of humor. She's smart, articulate, and FUN! She is grounded and balanced and loves to cook...all things I admire about her! I think I'm a better person when I'm around her, and really, isn't that what we all need in a friend?
Yeah, all of that is true...but here is my most recent reason for thinking she's the bomb: Sheri just got back from a 9 day trip to Italy, and what does she bring me, her friend who was sitting in a snowstorm in Ohio, jealous as hell? No, not some little trinket to sit around, not a Euro to just take up space in my change jar, not a postcard with a beautiful picture on it (she took PLENTY of beautiful pictures!)... no, no, no!!!! She brings me ITALIAN CHOCOLATE!!!!!! Yes, folks...that's right...CHOCOLATE!
I love that girl, I really do.
Now, do I eat it all myself, or share it with the fam??? Decisions, decisions, decisions.....
Let me try that again...I AM SOOOOOO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!
We love to go to the beach in South Carolina. We have gone lots of times, with different groups of friends, and we always have a wonderfully relaxing vacation! Last year we didn't have enough people to go, so we opted to visit my good friend Amy in San Diego instead. Which, I may add, was an awesome time as well (if we leave out the airplane ride there), and we always look forward to visiting with Amy and her family and going to Disney, and the beach, and swimming in their pool, and meeting their friends, and....you get the point.
BUT, this year, we have a group of new friends that are geared up for lots of family fun at the beach!!!! Eight adults and 10 children, age 7 and under....wow! What a time we'll have! We have our house reserved (WOO HOOOOO!!!) and there will be plenty of "planning" meetings for we ladies between now and then. I can hardly wait!!!! Oh the fun we will have! We usually pick up sand toys and kites and beach balls at the end of the season, right before we go...so the kids always have something fun to do. And then there's always the myriad of putt-putt places to take the kids to...they LOVE that! One year, my SIL Amy went to one of the gift shops and bought sand dollars and starfish and things like that and set up a treasure hunt for the kids on the beach...oh the possibilities!!!!
And there is also one other reason I can hardly wait...I am planning to meet Kiki, face to face! Oh yes, I may just go do some shopping at the Gap, and since I am no fashionista, I will need lots of help! She just may be the person to help me out! Do you think it will be weird to actually "meet" a blogger buddy??? Would you want to, if you could???? Just wondering...
So, let me just say it one more time.... I AM SOOOOOOOO EXCITED!!!!!!
Now, I just have to make it five more months.... (sigh.)
Ok, now seriously folks...this is good! And super easy!!! And even better...you make it in the crockpot! Try it out! From Sheri's friend, Jen...
Gingerbread Pudding Cake
1/4 cup butter, softened 1/4 cup sugar 1 egg white 1 tsp vanilla 1/2 c molasses 1 cup water 1- 1/4 flour 3/4 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp ginger 1/4 tsp salt 1/4 tsp allspice 1/8 tsp nutmeg 1/2 cup pecans Topping: 6 tbls brown sugar 3/4 cup hot water 2/3 cup butter, melted
Cream butter, sugar. Beat egg white and vanilla. Combine molasses and water. Combine flour and spices - add to creamed mixture alt. with molasses mixture beating well after each addition. Fold in pecans. Pour into a greased 3 qt. slow cooker. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Combine hot water & butter. Pour over batter (do not stir). Cover and cook on high for 2-2 1/2 hours or until toothpick comes out clean. Turn off. Stand 15 minutes. Serve warm. This is awesome! Definitely best with ice cream or whipped cream.
I was so bummed this morning that we were on a Level 3 Snow Emergency, because I was supposed to be doing chair massage at the Columbus Auto Show today. This is my biggest money maker of the year, and I am not happy that I couldn't get there today. BUT, I am pretty sure I will make it tomorrow, and then absolutely next weekend...so all is not lost. I figured I better just make the best of the day!
So here we are, in the midst of our biggest snowfall of the year. How did we choose to spend this wintery day? Well, we got up and made homemade waffles with raspberry syrup and whipped cream (leftover from the hot cocoa!) , and then we played! First up was imaginative play with trucks, cars, blocks , and farm implements...Then after lunch (grilled cheese and tomato soup, Kiki!!!), we got out the play-doh and let the kids make a huge mess! Noah kept needing things "fixed", so Barry had to get in on the play-doh action...Check out the doh-doh...Kendall says he needs a haircut!We made dinner (Kenady's tilapia recipe...YUM!), and then rounded the kids up for bathtime! Since we had plenty of time and needed even MORE fun, we filled the tub with bubbles and made silly hair-do's! Having to deal with all the snow as well as all the excitement around here, Scout crashed out at the top of the stairs and didn't move for about 2 hours! Then we made an awesome dessert (Gingerbread Pudding Cake) and sat down to watch James and the Giant Peach. Now the kiddos are in bed, and Barry and I are sitting down to watch Tommy Boy(the Holy Schnikes edition, of course!) and snuggle on the couch. See, it's not so bad being snowed in, is it???
So in light of the fact that we are in the middle of a "blizzard warning"(geesh!) and are due to receive 10-12 inches of snow tonight, we are having fun!! The snow started around 9:30 or so this morning, and picked up speed throughout the day. Kendall's school let out early, and Barry's workplace closed early too...so as soon as they got home, Barry and the kiddos got dressed in their snow gear and headed out to play. Mama laid down and took a little nap! So, no pictures of snow play today...BUT, I do have pictures of what happened afterward! What snowy day is complete without big mugs of hot cocoa???? But oh no! We were out of marshmallows!!! What to do, what to do??? I'll tell you what!!! Homemade whipped cream!! Oh my, was that good!!! These happy kids are my witnesses...And, finally after all my hard work, a nice steaming mug for little ol' me...Hot cocoa, anyone??? Come on over! There's nothing I like more than a big snowstorm to slow everything down for a day or two! We'll be here playing games and watching movies and making all sorts of yummy comfort foods...and of course, we'll be up for company!
Here it is, Jenelle....the much sought after Lemon Cream Chicken recipe! And also for anyone else who's interested...
Lemon Cream Chicken
1/2 c. +1 tbsp flour 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp pepper 6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves 1/4 c. butter 1 c chicken broth 1/2 lb sliced mushrooms 3 tbsp lemon juice 1 c whipping cream
In large, resealable bag, combine 1/2 c. flour, salt & pepper, chicken and shake to coat. In a large skillet, cook chicken in butter for 8-9 minutes on each side until juices run clear. Remove chicken and keep warm. Add broth to drippings. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stir. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Stir in 3/4 c cream, lemon juice, mushrooms. Cook over med-low for 5 minutes. Combine remaining flour & cream until smooth, stir into skillet. Bring to a boil, cook & stir for 2 minutes until thick. Return chicken to skillet and heat through. Serve with lemon slices on top.
Here in the cabin, High School Musical has landed. (Or as we call it, "Grease 2007", but let me just say that Zac Ephron is NO John Travolta!!)
I know some of you parents out there must be thinking, "What took so long? Don't you have a 7 year old daughter?" Well, yes I do. But, keep in mind we don't have cable! Therefore, Kendall has really not been exposed to the HSM hype...well, that and the fact that she is too busy catching frogs...hahahaha!!!
Anyway, a couple of the little girls in her class are really into HSM, and she hadn't seen it, so I got it on Netflix. Not only is she crazy about it, but little Noah is too! Those two have been dancing and singing like crazy! We watched the movie maybe twice, and already Kendall has all the songs memorized. And now, it is her mission in life to be a singing star! Tonight is her spring program at school, so she just may get her chance. Anytime she gets the opportunity to be on stage she takes full advantage, believe me!!! This morning she woke up super early and was dancing around with her hair brush, doing vocal warmups at the top of her lungs. Holy crackamoly, it was funny...
Do you ever get something itchy in the lining of your bra? I have this bra that I love, and lately for some reason, it feels like there's something in it that itches me when I move. I have taken it off countless times and looked all through the cup and can find nothing. So I washed it. And let it hang dry. And lo and behold, when I put it on yesterday, it was still itching me!!!
I mean, what's up with that? It feels like there's just a little something in there, like when you get your hair cut and you get some down the collar of your shirt....itchy like that! I swear, I can't just go around scratching my boob all day! I mean, that's not cool! So now what? Do I have to get rid of this bra?
Anyone else ever have this problem? Aaaaaaaghhhhh!
Today when Kendall got home from school, she headed outside to enjoy the 60 degree weather we were having. Just as her daddy pulled up in the driveway, she came running up from the pond. Just look at what my darling daughter found... A big ol' bullfrog who was still too sluggish to get away. Heck, he was probably just getting himself dug out of his burrow! But boy, does my girl love those frogs! She named him Slimy... Oh, what fun frogs are! Too bad Noah was sleeping the whole time...although I'm certain if he had been awake, that frog would have run for his life!! Frog legs, anyone???
I'm a thirty-something mother of two, wife to one (haha), trying to live a simpler life in the log home my hubby built just for us. I've been called a tree-hugging granola cruncher by some of my friends, but I'm really not. I'm just trying to appreciate all the simple joys life has to offer...my rugged and handy hubby, my silly kids, good friends, great food, lots of fun, and of course, ICE CREAM & CHOCOLATE ! I love to laugh, so my day is not complete until I've made time to watch something funny before bed...mainly The Office! Come and spend the day with me... we'll have a great time, I promise!