So glad you came to visit today! Here at my little corner of bloggy world I share a little bit about everything--family, parenting, goals, struggles, photography, recipes, n more! So curl up with a cup of hot tea {or not} and feel free to peruse around my site! Check out my sidebar for links. And come back again!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thankful Thursday

It's been sooo long since I've done TT, but I think know it could do my heart some good. So here we go...

I am thankful for...

... Eli. We just celebrated his 2nd birthday. He's a lot of work but such a joy. And to watch him learn and grow and know that I am a part of it and good is coming out of our days together makes my heart glad.... Hannah. She is my sweet baby doll. She is soooo good and a precious part of our family. We're all overwhelmed with her cuteness and sweetness when we look at her.... an afternoon out with my hubby last Saturday. That was MUCH needed, and I'm looking forward to getting out again this coming weekend! (though I'm not sure what we're planning)
... flowers! I love 'em! Last week we went to Buttonwood Farm for ice cream and the sunflowers were in bloom!
... one of my friends' new baby! And the many more that on their way SOON!! And I can't wait to move back "home" so that I can see them!

... our time in CT. We only have a few short weeks left until we move (to Iowa hopefully, though no job lined up at this point). We've made some great friends here who will be missed. Our children were born here. And we've had time to grow as a couple.

... that Kevin has his resume done. It's such a slow process but we're plugging along!

... Kevin being such a hard worker while working 12-hour night shift (for Navy). He doesn't get much sleep since we're a little too anxious to have him up with us during the day, but he is such a trooper about it.

... my camera. I've been so ungrateful about it lately, wanting to move up to this camera so I can get shots on the first couple tries instead of the 100th and be able to do more photography work. But still, I can't imagine not having the photos that we do have. What a precious way to hold on to memories.

... this moment. Both kids are asleep. The house is quiet. I am alone while Kevin's at work. And Eli's sound machine is soothing me with the gentle rhythm of ocean waves. And there's nothing I feel like I need to do right now. I can just. sit. and. be.

So with that, I close, and bid my dear friends a good night! Many blessings to you!

For more Thankful Thursday visit Iris at Sting My Heart.

New blog design!

My friend, Julie, just had a makeover at her blog, and it looked so great I checked out the website and found one for myself! Soooo many great picks there, I'll probably be changing looks every few months! And the best part is it's FREE and just a quick copy and paste into Blogger! So thanks, Julie for the link!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - July 28

Kevin's going on nights (5pm-5am) tonight for two weeks at work. So since he won't be home for dinner we'll probably just do a lot of scrounging for meals. Plus I have a couple things left from last week's menu. We're also into church softball playoffs, and even though Kevin won't be playing, the kids and I will still try to make the games, in which we'll need simple dinners for that too. By the way, my mom's off to Boston for the week taking an economics class for work; she'll be back on Saturday. Sooo, here we go. If I do this right, I might not even have to get much of anything for groceries!

Monday -
lunch: leftovers
dinner: broccoli sausage breakfast bake, peaches

Tuesday -
lunch: leftover breakfast bake
dinner: grilled taco nachos

Wednesday -
lunch: chicken caesar wrap
dinner: loaded potato

Thursday -
lunch: sandwich
dinner: cheese ravioli, broccoli, pear

Friday -
lunch: chicken tenders
dinner: omelet, fruit cocktail

Saturday -
lunch: sandwich
dinner: dinner out

Sunday -
lunch: ??
dinner: pizza casserole

Monday -
lunch: leftovers
dinner: homemade pizza

Sunday, July 27, 2008

My one and only.

While my mom is here visiting we made sure that Kevin and I could get away for just a little bit to enjoy some time together, just the two of us. It's been MONTHS since we've had a break at all, nothing since Hannah was born! In thinking of what to do, I decided I really just wanted to get out and do something active, like go bike riding or play tennis or frisbee or something. That's definitely something I miss being able to do and we can't so much attempt it with kids in tow! So we decided to go biking on the local trail here, even though I haven't biked at all in a couple years, and we had such a great afternoon and itdidn't cost a thing (except the Dairy Queen we got on the way home, but sshh)! We rode half the trail, then stopped at the little "beach" area (no sand, just rocks and shells), and then finished the rest of the loop. Just wanted to share some of the pics...

And my new favorite from the day...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Birthday, Part 2

Goodness, I didn't intend for such time to pass between the last post and this one! But anyway, here we are...

We were planning on having a small birthday party for Eli, having two families over for fun in the pool and just good fellowship, with cake and presents of course! BUT sickness struck, including Eli, so we canceled. BIG bummer. I never had birthday parties growing up, so I was excited to do that for Eli so he could share his birthday with his friends.

We had a good day though despite the circumstances. He finished opening presents...

a play dough fun factory
and LOTS of books!
And then CAKE! Kevin was such a good help getting the cake together. This is definitely NOT my favorite thing to do in the world. I can't ever seem to get the frosting the right color. Last year Eli's red cake was just a dark pink. And this year since the brown wouldn't ever turn darker than just a real light brown, we added a drop of black which just turned into a dark gray. I decided to not even try the star-tipping of the frosting, and we just spread it out instead. Long and messy process but in the ended Mr. Bear turned out looking pretty cute anyway!
Eli's trying to blow out the candles. But they were a little too far away, so he got some help from Daddy.
Then we were just having some fun with the camera...
Eli's turn.
And now this week (today actually!) my mom is coming for a visit! So that's where I'll be!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Yup, another week that I'm behind, and it's only just begun....

Monday - free pizza (since the store messed up our pizza last week)

lunch: ??
dinner: turkey pita tacos, pineapple

lunch: chicken salad sandwich
dinner: Cracker Barrell (on the way home from airport since Mom is coming!)

lunch: Caesar chicken wraps
dinner: cheese ravioli (of the frozen variety), garlic bread, salad, peaches

lunch: Applebee's oriental salad (simplified recipe below)
dinner: hot dogs, chips, carrots, grapes

lunch: sandwiches
dinner: meatballs, green beans, peaches

lunch: leftovers
dinner: broccoli sausage breakfast bake

lunch: ??
dinner: grilled taco nachos (again, since we have leftover ingredients from having it last week)


RECIPE: Applebee's Oriental Chicken Salad - simplified

bag salad
chicken tenders
chow mein noodles

3 Tbl honey
1 1/2 Tbl rice vinegar
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp Grey Poupon Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp sesame oil

Cook chicken tenders according to directions. Mix up dressing ingredients. Put salad on plate, and top with chicken, chow mein noodles, and dressing.

This is MY FAVORITE! I make this salad and Eli just has chicken tenders, and it makes a fabulous lunch!! Yes, I had to buy rice vinegar and sesame oil just for this, but it's so worth it!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Happy Birthday to Eli! (part 1)

This is 2 days late, but HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ELI! He turned 2 on Saturday! He's such a joy (most of the time), I can't even remember what life was like before him! What DID I do all day with all that time?? We celebrated his birthday all weekend long. Kevin even took a 3-day from work and had Friday off to be home with us. What a treat!

Saturday we started the day off with star-shaped pancakes. Eli loves pancakes (cancakes, as Eli calls them), and today when I asked him if he was ready to eat [lunch] he said "pancakes?" =) But Saturday he had a bit of a cold and must not have had much of an appetite because he didn't really eat any of his pancakes at all! Bummer!

After breakfast he opened his first present. Legos from Grandma and Grandpa! While Eli was playing Legos, Kevin and I took turns getting ourselves showered and dressed for the day.
Then time for present #2: a digital camera also from Grandma and Grandpa! While he was busy with this, I slipped out to get some birthday balloons for the presentation of the next present...
Time for the tricycle! I tied a balloon onto it and parked it on the sidewalk for him to see when he came outside. It'll take him a little bit to learn how to ride it, but in time I think he'll really love it.
After the tricycle, we broke out the bubbles machine from Aunt Carri, because we LOVE bubbles!
Then we had lunch (at McDonalds) and naps. While Eli was napping I wrapped a bunch of presents and left them out accidentally (they were intended to be opened the next day at his birthday party) When Eli got up and saw two of the presents sitting there, he got excited and said "Open?" So of course, we let him open them then. So the next hour he spent playing with his new laptop from Great Aunt Eunie and Uncle Peter...
It was nice outside so it was time to get out again and find another present! (I "hid" it under the tree)
He loves baseball so we got him a small bat and ball. And he's so good at it too!

there's the ball...
he picks it up...
...and pitches it to daddy, right on!
But... that only happened like once and then Eli was off throwing the ball everywhere. So Kevin set up a make shift tee, using some tube from our old vacuum. Very creative he is.

After baseball we ate dinner (spaghetti!). Because we were planning on having cake at his party the next day, we didn't have anything for the actual day. But when we mentioned his birthday to our neighbor, she kindly ran into her house and came out with three cupcakes for us! So fun! So we had cupcakes before heading off to bed!

So that was his birthday! I'll do another post of his second day of celebrations!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - July 14

Lunch: sandwiches, carrots, fruit cocktail
Dinner: softball game/paper plates nite - pizza

Lunch: chicken patty sandwich
Dinner: grilled taco nachos (to finish up sausage and green chiles from last week), peaches

Lunch: quesadillas
Dinner: French dip sandwiches, oven roasted potatoes, pineapple

Lunch: BLT sandwich
Dinner: breakfast nite - omelets, bananas & strawberries

Lunch: soup
Dinner: pork chops, cheesy tator tot casserole, apples

Saturday--Eli's 2nd birthday!!
Lunch: lunch out
Dinner: - Dad's spaghetti, garlic toast, fresh peaches, green beans

Sunday - birthday party
Lunch: leftover spaghetti
Dinner: Italian grilled chicken, grapes, carrots, chips

For more yummy meal ideas, click HERE!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

5 Months Photo Shoot

Hannah turns 5 MONTHS tomorrow! I cannot believe how fast the time is flying! Hannah is such the sweetest little baby--so content and so happy. She loves her toes. She rolls over all the time now, but only from back to front. She gets up on her tummy right away and then gets stuck. She still requires about 4 or 5 naps a day--three long ones and one or two cat naps, plus sleeping through the night. She loves to babble and will really get going sometimes. And she loves when she can play in her friends' exersaucers! She'll probably be starting rice cereal soon, but I don't want her to grow up too fast so I keep avoiding it. =) I try to get a good picture of the kids each month, for the first year at least, so here are the photos I took today for her 5-month photo shoot!

(click image to enlarge)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Creative fun.

I found a new "toy" for pool time fun! Our colander!

And, yes, it was one of those hot days where I just felt like being in the pool too!