Monday, January 31, 2011

And this is why..., AG, are in the 93% for your weight:

For lunch you had...
-A whole grill cheese sandwich.
-A handful of goldfish crackers.
-An apple sauce cup which you inhaled.
-A second apple sauce cup because you needed more.

And then I opted to offer dessert because you were such a good eater and you requested "coo-coo" aka a cookie. And now as I type this you have polished off two Chips Ahoy cookies. Thankfully, these were the last two and I showed you the empty container as I threw it away. Of course you requested more but alas, we have no more and now your lunch is finished. Ha. Mind you this was after you had a large plate of strawberries for breakfast and french toast sticks. I'm grateful you have a hearty appetite and you are not a picky eater.

Love you big man!

Heaven help me when you are a teenager...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Nesting, Organizing, Nesting...

...Organizing. Blame it on being pregnant. Blame it on the new year and the need to tackle a project.

Ah, so many projects and so much chaos to complete it in.

Today we started tackling the laundry room. (Photos to come) It is the only room in the house yet to be touched by us. Every inch of the rest of the house has been updated and remodeled. The laundry room has been the catch-all while we did all the other rooms. And while we aren't going to remodel it, yet, we are going to make it more functional in the interim.

So, for right now my den is filled with chaos...boxes everywhere, a drum set, tools, paint cans, and anything else you can think of that might be thrown in a laundry room at the last minute when guests arrive. My toddler enjoys rummaging in all of it and banging on Daddy's drum set that was "hiding" in the laundry room for all these months. I'm sure the neighbors are loving the noise coming from our house between the drilling, cutting wood, and drum set.

This is the perfect week for us to tackle this project since I don't have to mentor this week since the county has early release/intercession. Freeing up my schedule to tackle lots around the house. Avi-Kate just needs to get the memo that Mommy doesn't have time for nausea this week. :o) She apparently ignored that memo today and several hours into this project I was hit with a wave of nausea. I'm feeling better now after drinking a Coke. Andy enjoyed using his new saw that he got for Christmas today to cut all the wood for the shelves. I'm mulling over a building project for him to put in the laundry...which I'm sure he would oblige since it would involve his new saw.

In other news I've been working on some housekeeping stuff. It's a new year and I have another child that will be here before I know it. I'm itching to get some new routines established and in place before her arrival. (Another reason why I need my laundry room functional.) Hoping to get that up and going this week at least partially while we finish the laundry room so that we can give it a complete go next week. Post to come on that...

Also, a post forth coming on my poaching chicken for the first time and shredding it to make several meals. Kroger had a great deal this past week and I decided to give it a try.

Hope everyone has a great week. Hard to believe January has come and gone and February is here.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Two years old? Already?

Yep. Hard to believe. We went last Thursday for his two year appointment with our fabulous pediatrician. (She was very excited to hear that AG was going to be a big brother to a little sister this summer!) She informed me that I didn't look pregnant which I'll take as a compliment considering I'm halfway. :o)

AG did great for his check-up! He weighs 33 lbs...yes, 33! Little chunker. That puts him in the 93rd percentile for his weight. He is now 34 inches tall and in the 34th percentile for his height. And his head is 50cm placing him in the 83rd percentile for head circumference. It was surreal watching them take his height and weight standing up like a big boy for the first time!

She was extremely impressed with his development, speech, and his ability to communicate. I had to fill out a questionnaire about all the skills, things he can do, etc. He met everything above average. The only thing that he didn't exceed was threading objects on a string. Which developmentally is a skill for older children. We've started threading chunky colored shaped beads on a string every once in awhile but it's not a skill that I'm pressing at the moment. And for that matter I haven't pressed any skills on him at this point. At this age they learn best taking in the world around them and expanding on their interests. Everything else will fall in to place. I've been collecting manipulatives for him to use with guidance since before he was born. I'm slowly bringing those things out and we use them together in small increments when he's interested.

She said to go ahead and start working on potty training when I feel up to it. She said she doesn't think it will take him long to catch on. We'll see. :o)

Andy and I have three big goals for this year for AG...the first is to drop his paci. Which we are getting ready to do. The next will be to completely transition to his big boy bed. Some days he sleeps in it and some days he is in his crib. Our last one is to be potty trained by his third birthday so that he can go to preschool next January at Berry. The arrival of his sister this summer necessitates the first two. We want several months paci free before Avi-Kate arrives and we offer her one. Also, she needs the crib and Mommy needs to do her nursery. :o) And while I'd love for him to be potty trained before she arrives I'm not going to put that kind of pressure on myself. We have so much else going on this spring already. Would I love for him to be yes but I'm not going to throw that on my plate on top of everything else. I want to tackle the first two goals before we even contemplate this one. And honestly I have till next January to accomplish it.

Little man--can't believe you are already two! You are going to be a great big brother!

Mr. Analytical...

...yes, my child is a thinker. He has to analyze new situations before he jumps in. He likes to take it all in and study everyone/everything. Kindermusik was no exception to this rule. Last Friday we had our first class and he was completely content to sit in my lap and take it all in. Which didn't surprise me in the least. He studied his peers, their parents, the routine, and his teacher. At the end he began to get involved and my hope was that by the next class he'd be ready to go.

Well today was our second class. And he was super excited to go to music class with Emma. He kept squealing, "Emma!" as we spotted her getting out of her car this morning. We got there and sure enough he analyzed for a few moments and then jumped right in with Emma. He loved it today. And I loved watching him enjoy every minute of it.

I'm glad that we are in an organized classroom setting on a weekly basis together as we start to lay the groundwork for school and an appreciation of the arts. Already looking forward to next Friday...

A few more reasons to love our college town...

One of the perks of living in Rome is all of the wonderful things available to us thru Berry. We decided that when we got married that if we stayed in Rome and if we were financially able that we would take advantage of all that Berry has to offer for our future family. Here are a few of the things Berry has to offer...

A music class that starts for infants and goes all the way to school age. Each semester focuses on something different and gives young children a wide exposure to the wonderful world that is music and the arts.

Child Development Center (CDC for short):
The CDC is the lab preschool here at Berry and it falls under the Charter School of Education at Berry College. As a student of the Charter School I had to spend a semester doing practicum work in one of the classrooms at the CDC. Not only are there practicum students in the classrooms on a regular basis there are college students that work in each classroom each day as part of Berry's on-campus work program. This is incredibly unique because it can make the adult to student ratio very low. Thus, allowing each child that goes there lots of one on one help, instruction, and guidance that you might not find in a typical preschool. The CDC has classes for 3-5 year olds with one of the major requirements being that they be potty trained before they start "school". 

Berry College Elementary and Middle School (BCEMS for short):
BCEMS is the lab school here at Berry and it falls under the Charter School of Education at Berry College as well. It contains one classroom per grade level starting with Kindergarten thru Eighth grade. My on campus job while I was a student was to work at Berry Elementary and I worked in Mary Niedrach's Kindergarten class. AKA AG and Avi-Kate's GrandMary. I loved working there! Like the CDC there are tons of college students in the school daily for on campus work, student teaching, and practicum experiences. Again, this makes the adult to student ratio much lower than in a traditional classroom. I love all the things that makes the Berry Education unique. BCEMS strives to give it's students an education of the head, the heart, and the hands just like the college does for it's students. They desire to educate the whole child not part of the child. For this reason our desire would be for our children to attend school here...because where else is your child going to take a field trip every week in Kindergarten relating to what they are learning that week? (Yes, for every letter of the alphabet there is a field trip!)

So, for spring semester we have enrolled AG in a Kindermusik class. He goes on Friday mornings and we are happy to be in class with our best friend Emma and our friend Addison, from church. Today I sent an email to the director of the CDC inquiring about enrollment for next January for AG. I can't believe I'm working on preschool options for my child. It seems like just yesterday I was doing practicum up at the CDC. Before I know it I'll be sending him off to Kindergarten in the classroom that I worked in for four years! It amazes me how quickly time flies...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Saying hi to Daddy...

Avi-Kate has been moving, for me, for weeks now. Andy has been patiently waiting to feel her. With AG the first time Andy felt him we had just gotten home from dinner at the Hungry Bull (my brother-in-law's name for Longhorn) and were watching the UGA vs. ASU game at ASU. The Dawgs had a big play, I'm sure Andy could tell me what play it was, and we were cheering when AG decided to join in. Tonight we were watching the auditions for American Idol in Milwaukee and Avi-Kate decided to say hi to her Daddy with one simple kick. Andy commented that she's not as "wild" as AG was. I would definitely say that she is (so far) more mellow than AG was. We've crossed the half way point and we'll see if that changes.

I can't believe we are over half way. This pregnancy is zipping by in comparison to my pregnancy with AG. Tomorrow morning we have an appointment with my mid-wife and Avi-Kate's full anatomy ultrasound to make sure everything looks good. I have lots to post and update on in the next few days now that I have some down time on the horizon. We are also starting to make our master list of things to do before her arrival. It'll be here before we know it...

Wordless Wednesday...AG and Baby Essie edition.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Week 21 of 52 Recipes...

A bunch of my friends from college came over for dinner one night since one of our friends was in town from over seas (post on that forthcoming...) and we opted to stay in and cook. I once again went to my handy new cookbook by Rach (Look+Cook) and we settled on fresh Chicken was so yummy. And the fresh rosemary really sets it apart. The only thing I added was a can of drained fire roasted diced tomatoes because I just love extra tomatoes in a red sauce. I also shredded my carrot with my food processor in a about 20 seconds since we don't own a box grater. We served it with roasted asparagus and garlic toast. It was fabulous.

This also made a TON of food...I need to feed this to our college crowd sometime in the future. Definitely worth trying and if you can't tell yet I am a big fan of this cookbook! (Many more recipes from this book will be posted...)

Chicken Ragu


  • Salt
  • 1 pound whole-wheat or whole-grain rigatoni or other short cut pasta
  • 3 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 pound pancetta, a couple thick slices, cut into fine dice
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs, chopped into small bite-sized pieces
  • 1 medium to large onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled
  • 2 to 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves stripped and finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Marsala, a couple glugs
  • 1 (28 ounce) can San Marzano tomatoes
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • A handful of fresh basil leaves, torn
Yields: Serves 4


Heat a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Salt the water when it boils and cook the pasta to al dente.
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the EVOO over medium-high heat. Brown the pancetta for 3 to 4 minutes, then add another tablespoon of EVOO. Add the chicken and brown evenly for 5 to 6 minutes. Add the onions, rosemary, bay leaf, and garlic, then season with salt and pepper, then grate the carrot with a box grater directly into the pan and stir in. Cook until the vegetables are soft, 5 to 6 minutes.
Add the wine to the chicken and vegetables, stir and reduce for a minute, then add the tomatoes and crush them with a wooden spoon. Simmer for a few minutes to thicken the sauce and combine the flavors.
Drain the pasta and toss with the chicken ragu and cheese. Discard the bay leaf. Garnish with some torn basil. Serve immediately.

Week 20 of 52 Recipes...

I actually did this two or three weeks ago and just didn't get around to posting it with the last batch of recipe posts. I made it when we were snowed in and it was really good and one that we will definitely make again when we entertain. This also came out of my Look+Cook book by Rachael Ray but I cut and pasted this from her website. I believe the only difference is that my book calls for "Mexican Beer" and this just states "1 bottle of lager beer".  Andy was responsible for picking out a Mexican Beer since he'd be drinking what I didn't use for the dish! I opted for steak and the homemade tortillas were great. Seeing the pictures from my book, while I type this post, makes me want to eat this again...and soon. :)

Fajita Chilaquiles Casserole


  • 8 flour tortillas, cut into thin strips
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder (a palmful)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder (a palmful)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin (a palmful)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder (a palmful)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, boneless pork chops or sirloin steak
  • 4 tablespoons oil, divided
  • 1 bottle lager beer
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro or flat leaf parsley
  • 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • Sour cream, to garnish
  • Salsa, to garnish
Pre-heat oven to 400ºF.

On a baking sheet, toss tortilla strips with some cooking spray and bake in the oven until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Toss halfway through the cooking time so they get brown on all sides.
In a small bowl, combine the onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, cinnamon, chili powder, oregano, salt and pepper. Toss your meat of choice with the spice mixture and reserve.

Place a large skillet over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of oil, about 2 tablespoons. Add the meat to the pan and sear until golden brown and cooked through, 5-6 minutes. Add the bottle of beer to the pan and cook to reduce, 3-4 minutes.

While the meat is cooking, place a second large skillet over high heat with 2 turns of the pan of oil, about 2 tablespoons. Add the peppers, onions and garlic to the pan, and cook until brown around the edges and tender, 3-4 minutes. Add the zest and juice of 1 lime, chopped herbs, salt and pepper to the pan, toss to combine and reserve.

When everything is ready, toss the meat, pepper and onions, and toasted tortilla strips together into a casserole dish. Top with the cheese and melt under the broiler. Garnish with juice of remaining lime, sour cream and salsa.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Already haulin'...

...his sister's stuff for her. At least that's what Andy said to AG the other night after looking up and seeing this:

Yes, that would be a pile of girly clothes and lots of tutus in the back of AG's new Tonka Truck. Aunt Caro and Uncle Clay gave AG his new Tonka for his birthday this last week. Aunt Meg and Uncle Andy brought Avi-Kate some new clothes this last week when they were here for AG's birthday. AG decided he needed to investigate and deemed them worthy enough to christen his new truck. (Of course this would be after he put half of a hamburger bun, from his new Little Tikes Grill, and a UGA koozie in first...with the clothes piled on top!)

Never a dull moment. Life is sweet. I'm sure this is just a snippet of what the future looks like...I'm liking it already.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

19 weeks update...

Hard to believe that I'm almost to the half way point in this pregnancy. I'm 19 weeks now. I feel like it is flying due to how busy life is these days with the red-headed tornado! There is always something going on. Since I didn't have the blog during my pregnancy with AG (wish I could go back and change that!) I don't have anything written down about the comings and goings. The biggest things that happened in my pregnancy with AG are:

-I had NON-STOP heartburn for seven months straight...literally up until he was born. I remember asking the nurse in the hospital for some and she said she'd ask Shannon, my midwife, to add tums to meds. Before she could walk out I was like, "if I have my own can I just use them?" Ha.

-My sciatica was unlike anything I've ever experienced. I ended up in physical therapy for the last five months of my pregnancy. I also had to use a walker to be able to get around the last two weeks that I was pregnant.

-I had no swelling until Thanksgiving Day from there I just inflated like a balloon. I can honestly say I don't know how much weight I gained with AG. After Turkey day I quit looking at the scale because the numbers bothered me so much due to how much fluid I was retaining and there was nothing I could do about it. (Granted I have an idea but I couldn't tell you for sure.)

-I was induced a weekly early because I was in so much pain from my sciatica and so swollen.

This go around I've been meaning to post at least a monthly update but I'm almost half way done and am just now getting around to that.

Weight Gain: The first trimester I gained 2-3 pounds. Since then I bounce between 10-12 pounds. My weight gain this go around has been slower and smaller than with AG. I'm not going to lie I'd love for it to stay that way for the second half. We'll see, right?

Maternity Clothes: I'm actually wearing next to no maternity clothes at this point. Which is also crazy to me because with AG I was wearing maternity clothes before I was out of the first trimester. I am wearing all my regular pants still zipped just unbuttoned and held up with a BellaBand. Andy calls it a tube top for my belly! I'm wearing two or three maternity shirts but haven't made the complete transition to all maternity ware, yet. I've decided that with your first pregnancy you can't wait to be in maternity ware and then the next go around you want to stay in your non-maternity clothes as long as possible. Once you switch to all maternity ware you can't go back till post-baby.

Energy: I'm still sick. Although in the last month it has changed from every day nausea to alternating days. For example this past week, I felt great Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday then Thursday rolled around and I felt awful. The week before that I had three nights in a row that I stayed in bed sick. So, when I feel good my energy level is good and when I am sick I have no energy. At this point I think this is just something I'll deal with the entire time I am pregnant because I'm halfway (almost) and still dealing with it.

Cravings: When I'm nauseated the only thing I want to eat is nuggets from Chick-fil-A. Also, when I'm nauseated I want Coke or Sprite as cold as possible with lots of ice. Preferably, with crushed ice from Chick-fil-A.

Gender: Girl! We'll get another confirmation when I go back next week for my next check-up and my 20 week ultrasound. AG can say, "Avi" we are working on the "Kate" part but it's pretty stinkin' cute to hear him say her name.

Movement: Let's see I started feeling twinges about a month ago but in the last two weeks it's consistent and daily. Andy hasn't felt her, yet. She's flipping and twirling as I type this.

Miscellaneous: I'm still sleeping on my tummy but the last two mornings I've woken up with my sciatica bothering me. So, I might have to make the switch to my side sooner than I thought so that I can sleep with my leg propped up to help my nerve.

Here's a sneak peek at some of the fun we had this weekend celebrating AG with his Buzz birthday. (Update about his birthday this week...once we finish celebrating.) I'll take a belly picture this week to post. But you can see my bump in these pictures and I actually wore a maternity top yesterday. 

AG's Buzz drum pad from Nanny.

AG's Buzz from Emma.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


These are a few of the pictures we took from our Monday morning romp in the snow...the rest to come later and details from our adventure. Enjoy!

AG saying, "Cheese!" 

AG doesn't have time for family pictures he's too busy watching the sledders fly down our street. 

Samson gave me his regal pose before he began to let loose in the snow. 

Our little bungalow covered in snow with steps barely visible. Pretty much perfection.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Week 18 and 19 of 52 Recipes...

For Christmas (2010) Mama, Andy's Mom, gave me Rachael Ray's newest cookbook, Look+Cook. I immediately began looking at what all I wanted to cook and I had quite a list before I knew it. I decide to take two recipes and put them together even though they weren't listed together. Both turned out really well.

First up,
Steakhouse Chili Pot
Rachael Ray

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 4 slices lean, smoky bacon, finely chopped
  • 2 pounds ground sirloin, ask your butcher for coarse ground beef
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons chili powder, such as Gerhardt's brand
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • One can tomato sauce (14 ounces)
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • Sour cream, for topping
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped, for topping
In a large chili pot or Dutch oven, heat the EVOO, one turn of the pan, over medium-high to high heat. Add the bacon and cook until the fat renders, about 2 minutes. Add the beef and cook, stirring, until browned, 8-10 minutes. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and chili powder, a little salt and lots of pepper.

In a bowl, stir together the Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, hot sauce and tomato sauce. Stir into the chili. Stir in the beef stock and bring to boil, then lower the heat and cook until thickened, 6-7 minutes.

Serve shallow bowls of chili with lots of sour cream and parsley on top.

And to go with that we have,
Cheese and Bacon Biscuits
Rachael Ray

  • A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 slices smoky bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 small box biscuit mix, such as Jiffy brand, ormeasured mix for 8 drop biscuits
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup shredded sharp yellow cheddar cheese
Pre-heat the oven according to the package directions for the drop biscuits.
Heat a small skillet with a drizzle of EVOO over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp, about 2-3 minutes.
Put the biscuit mix in a bowl and add the bacon, 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings and the nutmeg. Add any additional ingredients according to the package directions to form a drop biscuit. Fold in half of the cheese and arrange the drop biscuits on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the tops of the biscuits with the remaining cheese and bake until golden, about 10-12 minutes.
Remove the biscuits from the oven to a serving dish or bread basket and serve hot.

The only thing that I will do differently next time is to half the batch if it is just the three of us because it makes so much and my biscuits were huge! This would be great when feeding a huge crowd.

Week 17 of 52...

Some where I have written down a list of recipes that I tried this last year and need to blog but that piece of paper is in a "safe" place of which my pregnant brain can not remember. I'm going to blog what I've done in the last two weeks and go from there. :o)

30-Minute Shepherd's Pie
Rachael Ray
From my favorite cookbook from this last year Top 30 30-Minute Meals Comfort Food

Here's the recipe from the Food Network Website. The only thing I did differently was that I used my new Rachael Ray Individual Stoneware Gratin dishes to make four individual pies. We had the Hornsbys over for dinner, pizookie, and movies. It was a very tasty evening. Ginny and I even followed it up with watching Eat, Pray, Love.


  • 2 pounds potatoes, such as russet, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream or softened cream cheese
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup cream, for a lighter version substitute vegetable orchicken broth
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
  • 1 3/4 pounds ground beef or ground lamb
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup beef stock or broth
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire, eyeball it
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, a couple of handfuls
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves


Boil potatoes in salted water until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain potatoes and pour them into a bowl. Combine sour cream, egg yolk and cream. Add the cream mixture into potatoes and mash until potatoes are almost smooth.
While potatoes boil, preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil to hot pan with beef or lamb. Season meat with salt and pepper. Brown and crumble meat for 3 or 4 minutes. If you are using lamb and the pan is fatty, spoon away some of the drippings. Add chopped carrot and onion to the meat. Cook veggies with meat 5 minutes, stirring frequently. In a second small skillet over medium heat cook butter and flour together 2 minutes. Whisk in broth and Worcestershire sauce. Thicken gravy 1 minute. Add gravy to meat and vegetables. Stir in peas.
Preheat broiler to high. Fill a small rectangular casserole with meat and vegetable mixture. Spoon potatoes over meat evenly. Top potatoes with paprika and broil 6 to 8 inches from the heat until potatoes are evenly browned. Top casserole dish with chopped parsley and serve.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Random Friday Fun...

In my last post I stated that I was trying to get the house back under control...since I posted that I've spent the last two nights in bed due to extreme nausea. (sigh) I actually feel really good in the mornings/early afternoon, however, it's even more challenging cleaning and organizing with the red-headed tornado following behind you. :o) 

So, we are taking small steps and doing what we can. I'm actually impressed the laundry is actually some what under control and I'm making headway cleaning our bedroom. Hopefully, I can get some stuff done during nap time and squeeze in a short nap for myself. 

I need to post a very yummy recipe for Shepherd's Pie that I made last week and tonight we are trying a new chili recipe. Hopefully, this weekend I can catch the blog up on everything. This weekend I'm also hoping we can finish getting our room in order, finish putting away Christmas stuff, and get some new bins to organize AG's toys. Students return this coming week and Berry starts classes on Wednesday, the 12th. Next weekend we are celebrating AG's second birthday and getting ready for a visit from some sweet friends. Our friends, Logan and April, are coming to stay with us for several days...we are excited since it has been a couple of years since we saw them last! (They are missionaries in Turkey and are returning to the states for a few months.) We are also excited to meet their new addition, baby Esther also known as Essie, born in November.

We are keeping a close watch on the potential snow for our area late this weekend and in to Monday. I'm hoping we get a couple of inches since we missed most of our Christmas snow due to holiday traveling. I love how peaceful everything is with a blanket of snow wrapped around it.  

Happy Friday! 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New year...time to reorganize...

So, for Christmas I received lots of our every day china (Emma by Pottery Barn...I'm trying to take my service to 24 since we feed lots of college kids on a regular basis!) and a new appliance. (The Griddler by Cuisinart) In addition this past spring we got a super heavy duty food processor and for my birthday I received a collection of Rachael Ray stoneware. Needless to say my cabinets were in need of reorganization. Here are a few snap shots of the bottom cabinets. I need to take a picture of the finished upper cabinets. AG had to help me with this project...

I emptied the cabinet and AG decided to do his own organization. 

 Taking a break to play with my mug from Floyd from when AG was born.

A place for everything and everything in its place. 

Wordless Wednesday...Grandparents edition.

Monday, January 3, 2011


So, I'm not one for resolutions I prefer to set goals. And I'm one of those people that will continue something until I can check it off my list. Yes, I enjoy making lists and checking things off as I go. I feel a huge sense of accomplishment when I can check each box off my list. (And yes, when I make a list I create a box next to each item so that I may check it off when finished. If you are chuckling by now just blame it on my degree in Early Childhood Education and the need for order/organization! Ha.)

Anyways, lately I have struggled with being orderly/organized and it's driving me bananas. This is mainly due to the fact that I'm nauseated most days and trying to keep up with a very inquisitive toddler who is growing like a weed. (And will be two in two weeks!) This last year one of my goals was to purge as much stuff from our house and set up a "home management" system if you will. (In my teacher days this would be known as a Classroom Management Plan. In reality home management and classroom management overlap in so many ways...but that would be a great post for another day.) Well, I started purging and I did set up a management plan. However, I had planned to finish the mass cleaning/purging this fall but that plan was altered in early October when I found out I was pregnant. I figured that surely once I got past the first trimester that my daily nausea would subside, however, here I am 17 weeks pregnant and still dealing with it. In dealing with my nausea I've opted to look on the positive that if anything it's a daily reminder that God has created this little life. With AG I was in a constant state of heartburn and sciatica...this go round it's nausea! Either way I'm grateful for all that I'm learning and that God has blessed us with this child.

So, I'm struggling because there is so much that I need and want to do but can't do because I just don't feel good. Not to mention the reality is setting in that before I know if I'll have two kids to manage...the pressure to finish what I've started is on. Let's face it if I don't get the bulk of it tackled now it may not happen for awhile once Avi-Kate arrives. I'm not one for excuses. Like I said I make a list I check things's how I'm wired. I'm learning a lot right now about having to be okay with things not being the way I would love for them to be. My father always told me to do my best and it'll be enough. Well, at the moment my best while pregnant is not up to my best when not pregnant standards. And that's okay. It's humbling. But my dad was is enough. The floors get cleaned, clothes get washed, Samson gets fed, AG is cared for, etc. It may not be perfect or how I would have done it 6 months ago but it's enough.

For 2011 I'm finishing up and tweaking some things I started last year:
-Finish cleaning/purging before Avi-Kate arrives in June.
-Finish up blogging about 56 new meals that I've made.
-Finish tweaking my management plan (post on that coming soon...)

New goals/projects:
-Keep up with my couponing/stockpiling habits AND have a nice stash built for this summer when we go from a family of 3 to less thing we have to keep up with for a few weeks. This includes prepping a stash of meals for the freezer.
-Read at least 6 novels and 6 political/opinion pieces of choice...I did this last year and enjoyed it.
-Plan a long weekend with Andy to celebrate our 5 year anniversary this spring.
-Decide what to do about which room is AG's and which is Avi-Kate's and then complete that task.
-Late spring pull out all the newborn baby gear that we have stored in the attic.
-Order our Maclaren double stroller...I refuse to go back to a large travel system after the ease of my single Maclaren! I could do a whole post on why I love it over my Graco travel system.
-Order Britax carseat for Avi-Kate.
-Clean out/organize the chaos that is the laundry/mudroom catchall.

I'm sure there is more to add to that list but at the moment that's what my pregnant brain remembers of my mental list!

Ooops...guess I need to add "get the blog caught up on the backlog of December photos" as a goal! Ha. :o)