Monday, September 27, 2010

Celebration of us!

Today was my 12 year anniversary with my wonderful hubby.
I think it is safe to say that neither one of our families thought we would last.
Here we are still proving them wrong!
I truly wish I could say that we live a fairy tale life,
but in reality we can be quite the train wreck.
The one thing we have always done is refuse to give up.
No matter what, we can & will work it out.

This time of year is always hectic. It starts with our oldest's birthday, back to school, our anniversary, middle kiddo's birthday, youngest kiddo's birthday then Thanksgiving. Breathe. Then finally Christmas.
So there have been years where our anniversary just kinda gets lost in the shuffle.
I was beginning to think this was going to be one of those years.
Especially since Matt was working his 2nd drill weekend.

He called today & told me to be ready to go. He would come home to change & pick me up with destination unknown to me. This is when having a teenager comes in very handy.

Matt knocked on the door and waited on one knee with a rose in hand for me
~ I'm really glad I didn't have one of the kids open the door!
The girls were so excited to give him the cards they made today.
Quick hugs & kisses all around and we were out the door by 5:30.

Once on the road, Matt let me know we had reservations at the Melting Pot at 7.
Oh happy day!
Even better is we had lots of time to get there.
We parked & just walked around enjoying the city.
I can't remember the last time we went on a date like this & had forgotten how nice it is to just be a couple.
We can hold hands & talk without interuptions.
 We can sit & watch people or the scenery.
We can take the scenic route without having to answer when we will be there.
We can take lots of goofy pictures of each other.

Dinner at the Melting Pot is always yummy & tonight we tried the French inspired menu.
It was all very good, but the best part is definately the dessert. We got the yin yang chocolate.
One of these days I want to come back & just get dessert, it is so yummy.

Seriously, doesn't this just look delicious?

 So I have been trying to think of a gift for Matt. He is really hard to shop for,
he just isn't into stuff.
Well he is, but it's all really expensive stuff.

While blog surfing, I came across a few sites with the 52 dates a year idea.

Here is the first one I found at Simply modern mom:

Then I found this one at Wonder woman wanna be

These got me thinking big time. We don't have little kids anymore.
One of the benefits of having a teenager is we have a live in babysitter.
I truly believe that it is good for us to have fun together
& we don't do it often enough.
So I decided this would be my present to Matt for our anniversary.

I took this tin that I've been saving

Added some cardstock, stickers & Mod Podge to come up with this

Then I filled it up with about 45 different date ideas, so the inside looks like this

I used ideas from the above two sites, they both have several great ones.
Then I added things we have talked about doing but never gotten around to, like making wine.
Things we used to do when we were dating, like going to play pool.
I mixed in cheap, expensive, overnight & staying at home ideas.

I wasn't sure how Matt would feel about this,
since I was setting him up for a date once a week for a whole year.
He surprised me by loving it & coming up with a few more ideas to add to the mix.

So our plan is to pick a new idea each week to find out what our date next week is going to be.
I thought it was perfect that tonight he picked playing pool.
We are both looking forward to going out again next week!

Here's to another year to celebrate & a fun date to look forward to every week!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Confessions of a wanna-be roller derby mama

This sport discovered me last June while I was at a friends birthday party. I can almost count the number of times I have skated since jr high on my fingers & I hadn't ever even heard of roller derby before.
While slowly skating around the rink with my kids at above mentioned party, a lady skated up & asked if I would be interested in roller derby. The birthday girl & I decided to give it a go.
I had no idea what I was getting myself into!
Our first practice was the following week & so I looked it up on the internet & learned a little.
After a few practices I felt like I had been run over several times.
 Muscles I didn't know I had hurt. I got some amazing blisters on my feet.
I had some very colorful bruises on my body.
Yet, somehow I was totally hooked!
It felt good to make my body really move again. I love pushing myself to learn more & be able to do more.
When I was a kid I so badly wanted to learn how to skate backwards. I would watch those who could with envy. It took me about a month, but now I too can skate backwards.
 I can also hold my own on those fun speed skate songs.
We are working on building a team still & I have yet to come up with a decent derby name,
 so for now I am still a wanna-be derby girl.
My friend & I did watch Whip It. We were amused & slightly terrified of what we had gotten ourselves into.
I now own my own skates & lots of knee high socks.

One of the best parts is the way my brain shuts off while I'm skating.
I don't worry about anything. I can't. I'm too busy trying to stay upright.
Especially since falling only adds pain to more places.
It makes my head such a peaceful place to be.

I still hurt like crazy after a good practice even though it's been almost 4 months. In fact this week I learned you haven't really worked your core until you have worked it with skates on your feet.
Just try doing leg lifts with those heavy bad boys on!
I still have some impressive blisters & will continue to have bruises.

My hubby is starting to see changes in my body. Just a little slimming (YEAH!!) in my hips, thighs & waist. I'm sure if I could weigh myself I could see some changes there too.

I can't wait for practice again on Tuesday!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lazy Sundays

This weekend we needed a lazy Sunday. The kids started school this week & just like that we were thrown back into the routines & schedules we so joyfully tossed aside in June. Although it was time to get back to something predictable, it was oh-so nice to remember it one last time until next Summer!
We slept in & stayed in our jammies. I baked cookies with my girls. They played & played some more.
I cuddled with my girls & we took a lovely nap together.
I would probably have skipped getting dressed, if not for my Sunday evening Bible study/book club meeting. The girls got out of their jammies only to take a bath & put on clean ones.

The recipe for the Cookie Sticks we made can be found here: Cookie Sticks

The recipe for these can be found here: Lemon Burst Cookies

The one blip in the day was when I discovered a broken item. Now, I do not have babies or toddlers. I don't even have any pre-schoolers anymore. I have big kids that should know better, or at least know when to own up to breaking something. Then I remembered that their daddy sometimes does the same thing. *sigh* I'm pretty sure it was the teenager who is like a 2 year old in a very big body most of the time.
This time I can just turn it around & no one will ever notice for now.

The girls helped me get started on our clipboard project. We are painting them & adding some fun scrapbook paper. I am going to be using them to keep all their school papers organized this year.

To finish off our nice family day, I decided we should have dessert for dinner.
I whiped up some pear fritters with vanilla ice cream.
The recipe is here: Pear Fritters
The girls loved this, even if they weren't thrilled with the dessert. I think I will let everyone pick out a new dessert recipe & I will randomly do this again. It was fun to eat dessert first!

Lots of yummy treats & loves.
Now to work on those routines...

Friday, September 10, 2010

Learn Something New Day 8

I am so excited to finally be able to share one of these! This is the second year I've done this class & last year I was only able to make a few pages.
Of course I am sharing completely out of order ~ but that is SO me!

Yesterday I learned that I can put the pads that I use at derby practice in the washer! I've been wearing these bad boys 3 nights a week since June & Febreezed just wasn't cutting it. I had thought about throwing them in the wash, but didn't want to spend $50 to replace them.
So you can imagine why I was so so super excited to learn this.
 I probably would have jumped up & down. Except this tid bit came my way at the end of practice & by that time I hurt from head to toe & any extra movement was being avoided. As it was I squeeled with happiness & went to share with another friend who was in the same predicament with me.
Sometimes it's the little things that make me oh so happy!

You Capture


I have been enjoying the different weekly challenges over at
I Should Be Folding Laundry and this week I finally got it together to join in.

This week the assignment was Signs.

Here is my first attempt. I took it literally & snapped this while taking some supplies in the day before school started. I'm not real happy with how it turned out but still like it for fun count down.

Here is my next attempt. This one is more of a Here's your sign variety. Do not store extra laundry supplies in the window. Especially if the kids are going to accidently lock the cat in there too.
This did prompt me to clean up my laundry shelves so that I don't need to use the window space anymore. Oh and my floor is much cleaner now.

Last one, the tree in my front yard with it's changing leaves. It's a sign that fall is well on it's way here.
I love watching the leaves change color!

Don't forget to check out the I Should Be Folding Laundry site for more You Capture fun!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What's for dinner?

While blog hopping I discovered this fabulous idea at:

People post a weeks worth of their families favorite dinner's & then share! At the end you will not only have some great new recipes but possibly a whole week's worth of dinner planning done ~ love that!
Of course I am a few days late, but am just going to jump on in anyways.
First I have to mention that I am one picky eater. Way worse than all 3 of my kids. I don't like spices or spicy food among many other things. So try to keep that in mind & please feel free to add salt & pepper as you wish.
My hubby would be oh-so-jealous, poor guy.

Taco Bake

2 lbs Hamburger, cooked & crumbled
1 can Refried Beans
2 Tomatoes
Shredded Cheese
Lettuce (I love the bag of pre-shredded lettuce)
Sour Cream
Green onions
Tortilla Chips

Spread refried beans on the bottom of a casserole dish.
Layer cooked hamburger on top of the beans. Then put a layer of sour cream on top.
Bake at 350º for 20-25 minutes until heated through. Layer top with shredded lettuce & diced tomatoes.
Top with shredded cheese & diced green onions & bake for another 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.
Serve with tortilla chips.

Cheddar Chicken Spaghetti

1 8oz package of spaghetti, broken
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk
1 can diced tomatoes

Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the chicken, 1 cup cheese, soup, milk & tomatoes. Drain spaghetti; add to the chicken mixture & toss to coat.
Transfer to a greased casserole dish. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
Bake, uncovered, at 350º for 20-25 minutes or until heated through.

Funky Fried Rice

1 Walla Walla Sweet onion, diced
1 package sliced mushrooms
2 cups cooked rice
1 lb Hamburger
3 eggs
2 cloves of garlic, minced

Brown Hamburger in a large skillet. Meanwhile saute mushrooms in butter & saute diced onions in butter.
Scramble the eggs with the minced garlic & a little bit of butter. 
Add all ingredients to the skillet with the hamburger, add a bit of butter & cook on medium high heat until mixed & heated thouroughly.

Spaghetti Pie

8 oz Spaghetti, cooked
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup Sour Cream
1 small Green Onion, chopped
1 tablespoon Butter
1 lb Hamburger, cooked & crumbled
1/2 jar of Spaghetti Sauce
Mozzerella Cheese

Combine spaghetti, eggs & parmesan cheese. Put in the botton of a greased 9x13 pan.
Spread sour cream over first layer.
Saute onion in butter & spread over sour cream.
Sprinkle cooked hamburger over the previous layer.
Pour sauce evenly over the hamburger.
Bake at 350º for 25 minutes. Sprinkle mozzerealla cheese over the top & return to the over for another 10 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly.

Tuna Casserole

1 1lb box of Shell Noodles, cooked
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1 1/2 cup sour cream
2 cans Tuna
Shredded Cheese
2 Tablespoons Garlic Salt
Optional ~ plain Chips like Ruffles or Lays

In a large bowl mix cooked noodles, soup, sour cream, tuna, garlic salt & 3/4 cup of shredded cheese until well mixed. Place in a casserole dish & bake at 350º for 25 minutes. Cover the top generously with cheese and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

1/2 of my family really enjoys crumbled chips placed on top of casserole before the cheese is added.
So ours is usually 1/2 crunchy & 1/2 not.

Baked Ziti

1 1lb box of Ziti or similiar noodles, cooked
1 jar Spaghetti Sauce
2 lbs Hamburger, cooked & crumbled
1 1/2 cups Sour Cream
Shredded Cheese

In a large bowl, mix cooked noodles, spaghetti sauce, cooked hamburger, sour cream & 1 cup shredded cheese until well blended.
Place in casserole dish & bake at 350º for 25 minutes. Cover top generously with shredded cheese & bake an additional 10 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly.

Cranberry Chicken Pasta Salad

2 cups cooked Chicken, shredded or cubed
3/4 cup diced Celery
1 1lb box of Farfalle or similiar pasta, cooked
3/4 cup Craisins
1 cup toasted sliced Almonds

1 cup Mayonaisse
1/2 cup Sugar
3 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar

Mix chicken, celery, pasta & craisins in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl mix all dressing ingredients together until well blended.
Pour over chicken mix & stir until well mixed.
Just before serving top with almonds.

This can be made ahead of time & chilled or served warm. It is delicious both ways.


Sunday, September 5, 2010

End of Summer Party

To celebrate the end of summer we decided to have a party & invite a few friends over. I love theme parties & it has been a long time since I've hosted one. This theme started from a bead project I found on a blog, and the idea for a Rainbow Party was beginning. Then I found this blog: and it was settled. I love this blog, she has a ton of fun crafty things to do with your kids, but best of all for now was her rainbow camp ideas. She also had a rainbow birthday party & I honestly got most of my ideas from her. My girly girls loved the idea!

Because it was a summer, just for fun party, I tried to keep it simple.
 A simple lunch & a few crafts for the kids.
Eating lunch

Rainbow Ice cubes were a big hit!
Originally I planned on having the kids make fruit loop necklaces to keep busy until everyone had arrived, but the kids had other ideas & ended up playing in the playroom until I called them for lunch. As soon as they finished eathing they made their necklaces and had snacks to go as one by one they ended up in the playroom again.

Making fruit loop necklaces. Also known as Snacks to go!

The mommies visited & let the kids play for a bit before calling them down to make paint rocks. It was fun to see how different each girl painted her rock. Again one by one as soon as they finished they went back to the playroom. We visited some more & painted our own rocks while they played.

Painting rocks. Each girl painted 2.

I gathered the girls up once again for their last craft, Tie-Dye Hankies. Once again they each had their own designs & it was fun to see them sharing ideas & tweaking them just a bit to make them their own.
I'm not quite sure what the big deal with the playroom was but all the girls ended up playing in it again, wish it always had that kind of draw!

Showing off their hankies.
The boys in the back were part of the teenage herd that tried to crash the party.

Instead of goody bags I put the girls rocks & hankies in a colorful bag to take home. I almost forgot to give the girls the rainbow jello I had made so some of them got to take a snack to go :)
Yummy jello cups. Love how they turned out even though they take forever to make!

When I asked my girls what their favorite part of the party was, they both replied playing in the playroom! oh yeah & we had fun doing the crafts too. I'm still confused by this, but they had fun, their friends had fun & the mommies had fun so it's all good.

I wish I would have gotten a picture of the teenagers hanging out & playing with all the balloons. They didn't want anything to do with the crafts but they loved the rainbow twizzlers & even thought the rainbow ice cubes were pretty cool.

So I like this end of summer party idea & want to do it again. I think I've already found next years theme here: It's a Balloon Party! Since the only Summer birthday we have is my teen & he is SO not into birthday parties now, it's the perfect excuse to host this one.

So now on to September.
I'm super excited to be taking part in this class again!

Love love love all of Shimelle's classes & you can learn more about this class & others here:
I will be catching up & posting my daily lessons in the next few days.

My last thought for today is to share this:

going on at
I just discovered it today & already love the ideas shown.
I can't wait to see what the rest of the month brings from these creative ladies!