Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Just wanting to wish everyone a Happy New Year! It's hard for me to believe that this year is done. I hope to have a more reflective post about 2009 later. But right now I'm absorbed in family. We are currently in Indiana with my in-laws celebrating Christmas. It is so fun to watch my boys and my nephew interact and play. They are so full of life and wonder. It's been a joy amidst all the chaos that is visiting family. I hope that this Christmas season has brought you joy. And may the next year bring a fresh wave of love and laughter.

Happy New Year everyone!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

I believe in Miracles

Last night a beautiful miracle occurred. Mark and I got to dinner together without kids. I had gone to see my mother yesterday. And the boys, having had a long day with no naps, both fell asleep on the way home. We got them both the older two into their beds without waking them up. And Aiden sleep all though dinner in his car seat. It was so nice to enjoy a meal with my husband without worrying about kids. And even nicer that neither he nor I had to make the meal. We just baked some lasagna rolls my mother made and put in my freezer awhile back :). Add some leftover peas and garlic bread from earlier in the week when we had spaghetti and we had a meal that didn't take hardly any work.
All the boys slept, leaving us to enjoy the whole meal undisturbed. Aiden did wake up as soon as I was finished with my last bit. But as I was done, I'm not complaining. Both Ian and Cai woke up later in the night. Ian woke and scared by the noise of our movie (Mark rented the new Star Trek movie). Cai woke up at about 10 but then went to bed with us, with no fight, at 11pm. So it was a nice quite night. So very much appreciated. Even Aiden's quiet crying didn't ruin the mood. The whole night was a such blessing.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Snow Day!!!

We woke up this morning to the first real snow of the season. Ian started bouncing off the walls as soon as he realized it had snowed. He wanted to go play so badly that the excitement just could not be contained. And once we heard the preschool had been canceled it seemed that his dream would come true. We ate a warm breakfast of oatmeal and then bundled up face the cold.
The boys were thrilled with the winter wonderland we walked into. They dug in the snow. Made snow balls (or at least attempted to). Made tracks. And slide down a mountain.Ian has the book A Pocket for Corduroy by So we ended our snow filled morning with hot chocolate and Christmas cookies.

Oh how I love snow days! Now I get to enjoy the beauty of the snow inside the warmth of my home :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Baby Aiden

Aiden Michael is here! Born the 5th of November at 12:43pm. It's hard to believe that was already over 2 weeks ago. Where did the days go? Oh right, endless nursing, rocking and holding him and his brothers. Things are going pretty good around here considering we have a new baby at home. Ian and Cai are both fascinated by Aiden. Especially Cai. I smile every time I watch Cai peer over Aiden, gently rub his head and/or poke his nose. The look on Cai face reveals awe and wonder that I'm sure matches my own. It warms me to see the very same emotions playing on my 15 month olds face.
I've been blessed with wonderful family and friends, and reminded of it daily these past weeks. My mother came in one day that 1st week so Mark could go into the office because the other two guys in his sub-department of IT were out for the day. My father was here for a week and a half, doing dishes, laundry, cooking and playing with the older two boys. Friends and members of our church have been bringing meals a couple of time a week (which should continue after Thanksgiving for a little while. Yay!). And then tomorrow my in-laws come in to help for a week. Having family around can be alittle overwhelming at times. But the extra hands and help are really appreciated. And needed. If it weren't for the extra help I would definetly be dong too much. As it is I feel tired and overworked most days. Mostly though, we are doing ok. And hopefully will slowly learn the ropes of three kids. I'm both dreading and looking forward to Dec, as I learn to care for and establish routine here without out the extra help (besides Mark of course). I'll try to keep updated. But I'm sure post will be slim (or at least slimmer than normal, I know I'm not always good at posting) for awhile.

If you want to see more of the boys and family check out our Picasa Albums.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halloween 2009

So no Menu Plan Monday post this week. I'm not even going to try to plan meals. We'll just go with the flow. No baby yet either. :( I'm so ready to have this baby. I'm tired of being pregnant. I sorta thought he would come over the weekend. But no such luck. I keep telling myself: soon.

Thursday we did have the Witch's Hat Soup. And love it. It was really easy too. I didn't use the sugar the recipe call for. And I made up some nacho cheese (melted chedder with salsa) rather than use the canned cheese spread. Check out my handy work :)

Saturday, we went to West Heights United Methodist Church (my mother's church) in Wichita. Every Halloween they have Trunk or Treat. The members of the church line up their cars in the parking lot, decorate the trunks and then the kids can go around trick or treating. This year they had hot dogs and apple cider as well. It's great for Ian's age. It's all right there and we don't have to walk very far. Plus their is the joy of seeing Grandma and Grandpa. :) It was fun. Of course by the time we left both boys were throughly exhausted. All in all it was a good Halloween.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Menu Plan Monday (Oct 26th)

Well last week went well. I forgot to plan a meal for Monday. But we ended up pulling out one of my frozen soups one night and eating out another, meaning I didn't make the sweet potato burritos. Rather than make the burritos, I used the sweet potatoes for quesadillas instead. They were great. Although Ian insisted he didn't like them. We're still waiting on baby to arrive. Just a week until due date, so basically any day now. My doctor was out of town this weekend, so in many ways I'm glad I didn't go into labor while she was gone. However she comes back this evening, so I would rather like baby to come sooner rather than later :). Of course, my mother says as long as I don't go into labor Thursday night. She has tickets to Wicked. I really want her to see it too. She is going to love it! I've planned out this weeks menu. However, in many ways I'm hoping I don't get to most of it :). Being that Halloween is Saturday, I found some fun themed meals. I"m sorta excited about them. And will be slighty disappointed to not use them if baby comes. But then again, there is always next year. I think we are mostly set for costumes. Ian is going to be Elmo. A friend of his gave him an Elmo costume he had outgrown. It's wonderful. Cai is going to be a goldfish. I'm pretty proud of this idea, although I'm still putting it together. It came from the fact that Elmo has a pet goldfish, we have lots of orange clothes for Cai, and well I couldn't seem to find a 12-18 mo costume at the second hand stores in town :(. Hopefully with everything put together, both boys will be adorable. Ok, below is this weeks menu. Wish us luck. Hopefully baby will come quickly and everyone will be healthy. Also, keep the boys, my mom and my step-dad in your prayers. The boys aren't allowed on the unit at the hosptial due to all the flu going around. So this will be the longest period Cai and I go without each other. And it is most likely the longest period Ian will have without seeing me for even a few hours. When Cai was born he was able to come visit. I'm positive everything will be fine. But being away from them makes me nervous. What can I say, I'm a mom :)

Ok, once again here is the plan.

Tuesday: Sloppy Joes with broccoli side
Wednesday: Church meal
Thursday: Witch's Hat Soup
Friday: Worms for Brains, veggie side
Saturday: Leftovers or such
Sunday: Church potluck (Lunch); Breakfast dinner
Monday: Pumpkin Corn Soup with corn bread muffins

Don't forget to visit Organizing Junkie for more menus

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Menu Plan Monday (Oct 19th)

Once again I'm late posting our menu plan. Last week I never did get it up. Although I did have our meals planned out. I now have around 8 to 10 meals in my freezer. One thanks to the wife of Mark's coworker. She sent a box with soup, two loafs of bread, cookies, homemade applesauce and jam. I'm so thankful for this. We froze the soup and one of the loafs. The applesauce and jam our in the pantry. And we have been enjoying the other loaf of bread and cookies :). I've been trying to make soups and casseroles (or other dishes that serve lots) in order to freeze half of it. Mark and I were talking last night and we figure we will be good for meals for at last a month if not more. Between what I've frozen, family being around to help cook, and meals from both our church and my La Leche League group, I don't think I'll have to cook for awhile once baby is here!
Update on baby. I'm having braxten hicks contractions every day now. Usually more in the evenings, but the last couple of days in the mornings and afternoon as well. Today at my appointment my doctor said I could potentially go into labor anyday. And being 38 weeks that's ok by me. I'm just hoping to hold out until after tonight. Mark and I are going to Wicked tonight in Wichita! I'm so excited. I love this musical. :)

Ok here is the menu for this week.
Tuesday: Four-layer Casserole
Wednesday: Church meal at mom's church (Mom is babysitting tonight)
Thursday: Super Six-layer Casserole
Friday: Black bean and Sweet Potato Burritos
Saturday: Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry
Sunday: Breakfast dinner

Go visit Organizing Junkie for more dinner ideas. :)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Kittens and Pumpkins

Some friends of ours always have lots of kitties running around their house. They live out in the country and mama cat always seems to have a litter. Last year they gave away one of their mama cats. But this year the female they had kept got pregnant again. So once again they have kitten! Ian loves going over to see them.
This cute kitten reminds me so much of my childhood cat Miss Priss. Her coat is a beautiful gray and she just seemed to love me. I was groomed much of the time we were there. :) Oh how I wanted to take her home.

After we visited the kittens, we decided to go find Papa's Pumpkin Patch, a local pumpkin patch north of town, we had heard about. We weren't sure when it was open, so we thought we would just locate it and then come back another time. Turns out it was open!

There was a slide to enjoy.
A big loader to admire :)
Corn to play in.
Sunshine to soak up.

And of course, the perfect pumpkin to find!
All and all it was a wonderful day!

Check out more of our pictures from Papa's Pumpkin Patch and this month in general at Picasa

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Menu Plan Monday- Oct 5th

Our house is still filled with sick kids and sick adults. Everyone seems to have a cold. In fact the boys have croup. Not fun. Yesterday, instead of what was planned, Mark picked up chicken noodle soup from Panera Bread while he was in Wichita picking up pant touch up for our car (which we are getting ready to sell to a friend of ours). It was perfect for all our scratchy throats.
We were able to enjoy Fall Fest though (thankfully). It was fun to run into friends whom we haven't seem in awhile. Unfortunately it drained us all. And we haven't quite recovered. This week will be soup week for meals. One in hopes of helping us all feel better. Two, because the weather has been cooling down. Three because I'm hoping to make things simple. :) And four, because we have four weeks left till my due date and I'm hoping to freeze some of the soup for easy meals onces the little is here. Four weeks!!!!! I'm freaking out alittle. Wish me luck on trying to make sure everything is ready.

Tuesday: Hearty Broccoli Soup
Wednesday: church meal (or leftovers if we don't make it)
Thursday: Tangy Carrot Chowder
Friday:Chicken Vegetable Soup
Saturday:Sweet Potato Lentil Stew Recipe
Sunday: Hearty Black Bean Soup
Monday: Curried Carrot Soup

Don't forget to check out Organizing Junkie this week for more menu ideas.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Menu Plan Monday (Sept 28th)

Sorry for being out for a long stretch again. Cai has been sick for the past week. It start last Monday (Sept 21) and he ran a fever till yesterday. Today has been much better. But he is still really stuffy. Poor guy. When we took him to the doctor, he said it was a virus. And when we called later in the week to ask some more questions, the nurse said that it could last 7 to 10 days. But I think he's mostly better now. So hopefully things will continue to look up. I actually went grocery shopping today which felt really good. Yeah for small accomplishments!!!
So this weekend is Fall Fest at Bethel College (where Mark and I graduated from). I always love Fall Fest weekend. In the last few years, I really come to appreciate Taste of Newton which happens the Thursday before. And I'm looking forward to all the food this coming Thursday. It also means that I won't be cooking alot this week. Which is both good and bad. Good because it's less work for me. Bad because last week I hardly cooked because I was constantly holding Cai. And since I was unable to go shopping we ending up eating out way more than I like. But that is life sometimes. On the bright side. We got a van last week!!!!! An 06 Toyota Sienna. So now we just have to sell our car. Which will be happening within a week or two, as a good friend of ours is buying it from us. It's seems to be working out so smoothly. And mostly we are ready for the baby. My friend K just need to come visit to help me with my belly cast before the little one comes.
Ok enough about that here is this weeks menu. Tonight we had spaghetti and meatballs. I used the recipe in Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Sienfeld. I just got this cookbook for my birthday (this last Friday 9/25). I'm so exicted about it. Thank you Grandma Anita! Ian loved the meatballs. And I made enough that I froze half for later. Starting to stock up my freezer for easy meals when the baby comes.

Tuesday: Spagahetti and meatballs
Wednesday: Church meal
Thursday: Taste of Newton :)
Friday: Pizza Braid
Saturday: Slow Cooker Enchiladas
Sunday: Red Lentil Coconut Curry
Monday: Fish Nuggets, Butter pasta (both from Deceptively Delicious) with a side of veggies

Be sure to visit Organizing Junkie's website for more menu ideas.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Menu Plan Monday (Sept 14th)

So despite the fact that I have not posted the last two weeks menu's, I have indeed planned out my menus. However, life has been extra crazy and even with a menu we don't always follow. Several things have been happening around here. First, we are heavily shopping for a van. And we have it narrowed down to two: a 06 Toyota Sienna and an 06 Chrysler Town and Country. So the last few weeks have been filled with trips to dealers around town or trips to Wichita to look at and test drive vans. The other big thing that happened was the father of my best friend from high school died of a heart attack. My mind and heart have been with her as she deals with this major loss in her life. And then of course there is the transition to preschool which is still a fight. While Ian seems to have fun at preschool, he still fights going. But once home he goes on and on about what he did that day. I keep hoping that drop off will get better. I'm sure it will just take some more time. So here is this weeks menu. I'm hoping to keep it simple. That way (keep my fingers crossed) I can stick to it. :)

Tues: Ground nut stew
Wed: Church supper
Thurs: Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos
Friday: Pizza
Saturday: NOOMA Sunday School class Party at R & G's house
Sunday: Breakfast dinner
Monday: Cheese Corn Chowder and muffins (maybe corn bread?)

Be sure to check out Organizing Junkie for more ideas.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Menu Plan Monday -Aug 24

Last weeks menu went over really well. Thursday we had Small group which worked out nicely because we didn't have as many leftovers as I was planning. With Cai eating more and more table foods my predictions on what will be left over are become less accurate. Saturday Mark and I went out to a movie and dinner to celebrate our anniversary. It was wonderful. The kids stayed at Grandma and Grandpa's and from what my mom said they did really well. We ate at P.F. Chang's. We shared the Honey Shrimp and Sweet and Sour Chicken. It was really good. Especally the honey shrimp. So this week I have decided that since I am grocery shopping on Tuesdays now I'm going to plan my menu for Tuesday through Monday. So from now one plan on seeing my menu post either late Monday or early Tuesday. Here is what is on for this week.

Tuesday: Baked Chicken, mashed sweet potatoes, green beans and salad
Wednesday: Chicken curry
Thursday: Chili and corn bread (I have been having lots of craving for corn bread :) )
Friday: Tacos
Saturday: Leftovers
Sunday: Ham and cheese sandwitches
Monday: Homemade Hamburger helper

Be sure to check our Organizing Junkie for more menu ideas.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Menu Plan Monday- Aug 17th

As we slowly adjust to the upcoming new preschool schedule, my normal Monday routines are changed. Yesterday, rather than going grocery shopping we went to music group. We normally meet on Tuesday. But since the kids going to preschool this year and evenly divided between Tues/ Thurs schedules and Wed/Fri schedules, we have moved the group to Mondays. So with no grocery shopping yesterday, I was not as motivated to get my menu up. Last night we had black bean soup and corn bread muffins for dinner. It worked out nicely for the rainy day that yesterday was. I was craving corn bread and was glad to find a simple recipe that didn't take too much time. The last time I made corn bread the recipe, while very very good, took some work. And for the soup I used the dry soup mix I was given a few years back. Just added a can of black beans to give it more texture (otherwise it is really mushy). Last weeks menu went pretty well. I don't really have any highlights. Ian's party in the park was wonderful. I plan on commenting more on his birthday later. Even though I know it was now over a week ago. I'm so slow sometimes.

Happy Anniversary to my wonderful husband!!!! I love you lots.

Okay, here is the plan for the rest of the week.

Tuesday: Chicken and rice casserole, green bean side
Wednesday: Sweet potato and black bean burritos
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Pizza
Saturday: Movie and dinner to celebrate Mark and my anniversary!
Sunday: Breakfast dinner

Don't forget to check out Organizing Junkie's website!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

1st Birthday Celebration

It's hard for me to believe that it's been a year since my baby Cai was born. I don't have words to express the awe I feel watching this beautiful boy grow. And I know that time will only continue to slip by quicker than I can comprehend. Cause clearly a year just past by without my permission. My tiny newborn is no longer tiny, while at the same time just as little and precious in my eyes. I guess that is part of the wonder of the first birthday. They grow so much within they're first year, all the while still staying a little baby fully dependent on us. But all too soon, he will be learning to walk and pushing his independence more and more. And while I long to keep him wrapped up in my arms, I know my little adventure seeker will demand his independence to the fullest as he learns to navigate further and further from my embrace. So we head straight into the world of walking, running, talking and exploring. I'm sure this next year of his life will bring lots of adventures.

For more fun pictures and videos of the first b-day cake and opening presents check out our Picasa Albums.

Menu Plan Monday- Aug 10th

So last week was a horrible experience. We all came down with some kind of stomach bug, with me having it the worse. It was bad enough that I was sick, but then it took days for me to function on a somewhat normal level. Oh the joys of being sick while pregnant. I still feel like my energy is lacking. So as you might guess, last weeks meals were scraped for canned chicken noodle soup and applesauce (or similar such foods). Sunday, despite being very busy, was a good day and we all seemed to enjoy gathering with family. I'll post later on the birthday celebration at my mothers house. We have lots of great first cake pics of Cai from Sunday (we were all too sick to celebrate on his birthday). This week looks to be starting off to a good start. And lucky for me I'm not really going to have to cook all that much. Yesterday we celebrated the boys birthdays again by inviting our friends M and C over for dinner. It was wonderful. And I finally cooked the lasagna rolls I've been wanting to make for weeks. Although my noodles ended up breaking, leaving me with only enough whole noodles to do the vegetarian ones in rolls. The other I just layered and baked. We had green beans, salad and peach crisp for dessert. It was a good night. :) So the rest of the week as followed.

Tuesday: Pizza at friend H's house.
Wednesday: leftovers
Thursday:Eat out
Friday: Pizza Braid
Saturday: Breakfast dinner
Sunday: Hamburgers and hotdogs at the park to celebrate Ian's b-day with his friends- Digger cake and homemade ice cream
Be sure to check out Organizing Junkie's website for more menus. And have a great week.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Today's number of the day: The number 2

The number 2 seems to be a permeate our house. We live in a 2 bedroom house at 222. We have 2 young boys, and because of this many of our toys come in twos. 2 firetrucks, 2 diggers, 2 green swings, 2 toy pianos, 2 coin banks, etc. We often have 2 computers running in the evening, as Mark works on the desktop and I work on my laptop. Ian is currently 2 years old.
I'm slowly realizing that the quickly our life is going to change. Soon the number 2 will lose some of it's significance in our lives as the number 3 take over. First Ian will turn 3 years old on the 10th (in just 6 day!). Somehow this feels very important. For one it means he is going to be starting preschool. AHHHH!!! When did my baby get old enough to start school? But turning 3 also means he is no longer a toddlers, no longer a baby. Can someone tell me how to slow down time? Really, my babies are getting too big too fast. Second we will soon be adding another boy to the family. That's right, for those out of the loop, I'm due the beginning of November. And we'll be having another baby boy! Truth be told I'm freaking out a bit. Three boys is going to be a handful. And than you take into account that Cai will barely be 15mo (if even) when the new baby arrives, it just scary. But I know that it will work out. Things are changing around our house. And while I keep hoping I'll find time (and energy) to post more regularly, when I'm honest with myself I know that it just might not happen. Cause thing around here are not going to slow down anytime soon, if ever. And right now I'm just trying to figure out how to adjust to the ever changing thing that is our lives. :) Wish us luck. Number 3 is coming and in so many different ways!