Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Ryan and William got our trees tapped just in time for winter to hit.

The sap started running again late last week, and Ryan took 50+ gallons Saturday to be boiled down into syrup.

I think over the last year, our family alone has gone through over two gallons of the tasty liquid. Seems like a lot for a family of six- but then they like it on all their breakfast foods...pancakes, waffles, eggs, bacon, sausage.  weirdos.

Monday, February 20, 2012


I love Valentines Day.


It's what the day is about right??

Elizabeth made heart-shaped chocolate suckers for her classmates, and took fruit and dip for her Valentine party.

William and I made heart shaped crayons for his friends- a great idea I found on Pinterest. Super easy, and used up all those broken crayons the kids don't like to use.

I think they turned out fabulous!

Isabelle picked out "airhead" candies for her party.  She was delighted that Mommy AND Jackson came to her party.

The week before Valentines Day, I found this amongst William's school papers:

I didn't give it much thought, until he started talking about "My Valentine".


The Friday before Valentines we were in Walmart. Yes, all five of us. Walmarts were designed for the easily distracted I'm sure. That is how they make all their money.

William got sucked right into the commercialism of the day and decided he needed to get his "Valentine" a gift. Nothing says "love" like a pink teddy bear with multi-colored heart shaped spots. (oh.my.holy.wow. is what I was thinking). How could I let him out of the store with that you may ask... his other obsession was a 5' tall teddy bear.

After nagging us all weekend, it finally worked out for me to take him to her house Sunday afternoon. On the way there he was lamenting on how he should have gotten her a "heart shaped box of chocolates". I guess his Dad has taught him well.

I would give almost anything to know what she thought about the gift...

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Dill Chicken & Rice

*...photo lost in the archives...*

Dill Chicken and Rice

1 1/2 cups sour cream
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 1/2 cups cooked chicken, diced
3 cups cooked rice
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
1 1/4 teaspoon dill weed
1/4 teaspoon onion salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/2 cup butter melted
1 1/2 cups butter cracker crumbs

Mix all ingredients except cracker crumbs and melted butter.  Pour into 9"x13" baking dish.  Mix butter and crumbs, sprinkle on top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

*Not a favorite of Ryan's... but the kids and I love it!
*Most often made the week after Thanksgiving-when I have leftover turkey!
*I've substituted saltines for "butter cracker crumbs"
*I use whole grain rice

Monday, February 13, 2012

Vegetable of the gods

I decided last night, that this morning after dropping the kids off at school, Jackson and I would get a few groceries, come home do a little cooking and cleaning before it was time to pick them up this afternoon.

First stop, McDonalds. We were running a little late this morning, and Jackson needed breakfast. I needed coffee.

Stop #2: Kroger. It had been a while since I was there.  I really, really like that store.  I think I'll put in back in the normal rotation. They had Asparagus on sale. .99 a pound! The produce guy was a little surprised when I asked him if I could by a whole case. Jackson got orange tic-tacs.

On to Dollar Tree to get a few things for the Valentine parties at school. Jackson got a gumball.

Third stop: WalMart. ugh. Back, forth all around. From produce to dairy, diapers to clearance, fish and stationary. Jackson did NOT get the gum he unwrapped in the checkout.

By then it was 1:30 in the afternoon. Where did the day go? After talking to Ryan I decided just to hang out in Wabash until I needed to pick up the kids. Since I had a little extra time on my hands, he asked me to go to Tractor Supply and look for some things he needed. They didn't. Jackson got some new animals.

Big R. They didn't have what he needed either, so we made a substitute.  Jackson fell asleep in the cart.

Two o' clock... I was hungry. Fortunately my friend Pandora hadn't had lunch yet either. Asian Buffet. Jackson had the green beans.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Skillet Dinner

Skillet Dinner
"Homemade Hamburger Helper"


2-3 cups cooked, or 1 cup raw plus 1 cup water

1 can condensed soup plus 1 cup milk, water or plain yogurt
Cream of potato
Cream of chicken
Cream of Mushroom
Tomato Soup
Onion soup
1 cup cheese with 2 cups milk

1 pound or 1 1/2 cups cooked
Chopped beef, pork, chicken or ham
Tuna or salmon
Ring Sausage

1 1/2 -2 cups canned, cooked, raw or frozen
Green Beans
Lima Beans
Mixed Vegetables
Green Pepper

To taste
Worcestershire sauce
Chili powder
Soy sauce
Italian seasoning
Salt & Pepper


Choose one food from each of the four groups, stir together in a skillet.
Season to taste.
Bring to a slow boil, reduce heat to lowest setting, cover pan and simmer for 30 minutes until pasta or rice is tender.

*My family favorite is the ring sausage, potatoes and green beans
*Super easy, super cheap, super fast, relatively healthy, and I usually have the items on hand
*99% of the time I use whole grain pasta or whole grain rice

From: Purdue Extension Family Nutrition Program

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Love & Respect

Friday evening and Saturday morning our church hosted a Love & Respect video conference.

Emerson and Sarah Eggerich have a very engaging way of presenting biblical truths for marriage. Even though it was a long time sitting, I'm pretty sure Ryan would tell you it was worth it!

I forgot to say this when I posted the first time:
When we got home on Saturday, our wonderful babysitter had not only swept the floor, had Jackson napping, she had unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher, and done the laundry. xo Julie!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

One for One- Win - Win

Look what the UPS man dropped off for me today:

I LOVE them!

They just may be my new go-to shoes...

If you are thinking about getting a pair for yourself, they seem to run a little big.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Bedtime Conversations

Isabelle:  "Mommy, look how big my tummy is"

Me: "mmhhmm"

Isabelle: "Feel it"

Me: "mmhhm" (feeling tummy)

Isabelle: "No, put your hand right here- push it hard- see how hard it is?"

Me: "mmhhhm"

Isabelle: "I have a baby in there"

Me: "Oh you do?"

Isabelle: "mhmm"

Me: "How did it get in there?"

Isabelle: "God gave it to me"

Me: "Oh he did, did he?"

Isabelle: "Yes. It's going to come out when I'm a grown up. Like 15"

Me: "Uhh, no.  Babies don't come out until you are twenty five. AFTER college, remember?"

Isabelle: "Ok"

Monday, February 6, 2012

Edyth Jean

No "Super Bowl" for me yesterday.

I had more important things to do.

I had a new niece to meet.

Is she not just the most beautiful thing you have ever seen?

Jackson thought she was pretty special too.

She's perfect.

Every tiny little part of her.

Such a petite little lady.

I could not get enough of her.

How lucky is she with three big brothers?!

Her Mommy and Daddy love her just a tiny, tiny bit.

I'm sure to be her favorite Auntie!

The Princess
Edyth Jean