Saturday, January 30, 2010

Just Because It Is Snowing

I love snow. I especially love snowy weekends when we can enjoy the snow and my hubbie is not up with the roosters checking radar maps and stressing about the snow call for the day:)

Here are some pictures just because it is snowing outside and I had a moment to update the pictures on the blog:) I love snow days where you are afforded the luxury of just doing whatever you want around the house:)

This morning I pulled out the walker from David and Hope loved it! I think these things might be outlawed and dangerous but do not tell Hope that-she is in heaven!

Is this picture not the cutest? Caroline, one of Kyle's friends came over the other day to work on a scrapbook. I love this picture of their teamwork on her Hello Kitty scrapbook!

David is quite the mess these days and life with David is never dull. Here he is helping Hope try a sippy cup for the first time the other day.

Look at this precious face...he looks adorable in his glasses and jammies, but the picture is showing that despite the angelic face, he is attempting to smother his big brother:)

But in the end it is all good...gotta love brotherly love!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Why is my Dad hugging my toilet?? No, he is not sick! He is desperately trying to help me clean up from the Great Candle Wax Incident of 2010!!

This is what happens when you have a candle burner going in the bathroom and oops it falls off and wax goes everywhere. Yes, this really happened:)
Yes, wax is indeed inside of our circa 1989 toilet. Yes, it was the whole candle. Yes, I was truly sorry but I did laugh my head off! Mike, not so much.

Even sweet Hope in her sweet overalls shed a tear or two over this one. The good news is that we are laughing now and it is all cleaned up thanks to Mike and my Dad's patience with a hairdryer and scraper. God bless the men in my life for cleaning up my messes:)

Thought that you too could have a laugh at my expense today as well. On a bright note, our house smells heavenly with all that hairdrying good smelling wax and all:)

Saturday, January 23, 2010


This song is speaking a fresh word to me these days and thought I would share it on the blog. It is called What Faith Can Do by Kutless and I LOVE it! Enjoy:)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Homemade Lasagna

Back in the day when Mike and I were dating in Charlottesville his parents would come visit often. While Mike and I were at work, they would tour around Cville and Mike's Mom, Cathy would make these great meals. My very favorite dish she made was her homemade lasagna. I would come over to Mike's apartment and eat this yummy meal with them. We would fight for the leftovers.

She shared that recipe with me years ago and I have used it since. It is my go-to dish. If you have had a death in the family or had a baby, then you have probably had some of my lasagna. I have tweaked this recipe to fit my family and wanted to share it this week on the blog.

Homemade lasagna sounds pretty fancy and hard to make, but trust me, it is not. It is casual enough for weeknight meals, but can be fancy enough for company or a family get-together. Here is my tweaked version of this wonderful dish!

Ingredients needed:

around 1 1/2 pounds of hamburger or turkey. (One pound exactly is a little too thin for me, but two pounds is a little too meaty, so somewhere in the middle is geat).
a box of lasagna noodles (I am using whole wheat in the pictures below)
small container of cottage cheese (smallest they have at the grocery store)
Mozarella cheese (I use about 4 cups, but we like it cheesy. 3-4 cups would be fine).
Big container of spaghetti sauce (I used the traditional flavor for my picky kids)

First step is to line your 9 x 13 dish with some plain spaghetti sauce. Just pour some from the jar in the bottom of the dish and spread with a spoon. This is to keep your noodles from sticking to the bottom.

Next step is to start cooking your lasagna noodles. This takes about 20 minutes to cook those big noodles. Don't overcook them or they will shred on you. Cook them until they are tender. I cook about 10-12 noodles. When they are tender and cooked, drain them in a large colander.

Meanwhile, while your noodles are cooking, cook your hamburger until no longer pink. Drain off the fat and add the remainder of the spaghetti sauce to the meat- it will look like this.

You are now ready to assemble the lasagna. First line the bottom of your dish with noodles on top of the spaghetti sauce that you have already put in there. (Note: my dish is a little longer than a traditional 9 x 13, so I had to cut a noodle with kitchen scissors and place is on the end to fully cover.

Next take a spoon and plop half the container of the cottage cheese on top of the noodles and spread with a knife. It will look like this.

On top of the cottage cheese, sprinkle some mozarella cheese and then spread some of your spaghetti meat sauce on top of the cheese. This is your first layer.

Then do it all again in this order: noodles, rest of the container of cottage cheese, mozarella cheese, and some spaghetti sauce.

Then add your third layer of noodles and this will be the top. Pour the rest of your spaghetti sauce on top of the noodles and sprinkle with the remainder of the cheese and you are ready for the oven!

This is what it will look like going into the oven. Cook at 350 degrees for about an hour. If you cook it directly after putting it together, it will take only about 30 minutes to cook. But if you pull it out of the refrigerator it will take about an hour to cook. You will know it is ready when you put a knife in the middle of the lasagna and it is hot. Serve with salad and bread and even your pickiest eaters will enjoy:)

Here are some other options:

I believe Cathy sautees an onion and adds it to the sauce. Yummy, but not very nursing baby friendly for me right now. Also, if I am annoyed at my children's veggie intake, I have been known to cook random veggies, grind, and add to the sauce.

Make two while you are at it and put one in the freezer uncooked. One hectic day down the road you will be so happy with yourself. Defrost and cook!

Great dish to take somewhere-especially with the disposable dishware out there.

Exchange beef for ground turkey for less fattening option. This time I used whole wheat noodles and my kiddos will have no clue:)

Enjoy! Let me know if this dish gets a rave review in your house!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cool Dude

Yes, he is indeed a cool dude in his new specs. Unfortunately in the three hours that we have had them they have been in the carrying case more than on his face. Come to find out, the glasses we picked were not the best fit for him. They are a little wide for his face, so I brought them home today, but ordered a brand new pair that will be in next week. Great.

So, here are the pictures of his new frames for now. They are adorable on him even if they are a little wide. He is proud of them but I think it is going to be a big adjustment for him.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Hope 7 Months

The 15th of the month comes around too fast for me. I cannot believe I had to pull out her number 7 decal today. Sweet Hope what are you up to these days?

* You have a new trick that your brothers are so proud of-you have learned to clap! You clap after EVERY bite of baby food I give you. Oh so cute, but oh so messy:)

* You are a mobile, wild girl! You literally move all across the floor now trying to get into everything.

* You are definitely a momma's girl:)

* You are eating three big girl meals a day with several nursings in between. You show no signs of wanting to wean anytime soon, and you love your baby food and cereal.

* You love your brothers and literally army crawl after them:)

* You love to be read to and have no interest in the Baby Einstein or Baby Faith DVDs.

* You are still nursing at least one time a night and I admit you are in our bed at night:)

* You had three shots this week at your checkup and you handled them beautifully. This week you weighed a little under 15 lbs (14th%).

* You are such a happy girl and we all love you madly! You bring such sunshine and joy into our lives:)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Shack

I posted on Facebook the other day that I was finally finished reading the book, The Shack. I said that it has changed my views on God, church, and my relationships with others. It is not an easy book to read. If you want to read something light that will entertain you, this is not the book for you.

But, if you want to seriously invest in some time with God, aka Papa, in the book, then cuddle up and start reading. I know it sounds dramatic to say that it has changed my thoughts on life, but it has.

For one, I will never, ever, think of God as this super unattainable person standing over me ready to discipline me or strike me down. This book reminds me that God is like a big, proud Papa waiting on me to turn it all over to him and watch him take the struggles in my life and turn them for His glory.

This book has a great story line, but the dialogue between God, Jesus, and Mack is where the meaty part of this book lies. At times I could only read a page or two and ponder them for a day or two. Other times I could not put it down:)

The overwhelming message of the book is to remind us that God wants a relationship with us and wants us to call him Papa. Our relationship with God should be so intimate that he is our beloved Papa. We all need a God in our life that is real and approachable. I love the idea of curling up in Papa's lap and crying on his shoulder when things are rough.

Some people get so bogged down in the legalistic nature of religion. They feel that if you want a relationship with God then you have to dress a certain way, act a certain way, follow a bunch of silly rules, and so forth. This book reminds me that His love is so simple. He died for us out of total love and He is there waiting for us to turn to him and follow Him. So simple, but our man made little laws and silly notions we get from church sometimes muddy the waters. He loves us, died for us, and desperately wants a relationship with us, his beloved children. Easy:)

For some reason this book reminds me of that night that sweet Davey was born. It was a wonderful, glorious day but totally changed the course of our lives forever. I remember after the nurses left Mike and I to ourselves with our sweet bundle after telling us the shocking news of his DS, I just laid in Mike's arms and cried. I clung to Mike but I know that we as a couple were clinging onto our dear Papa for life that night-knowing that He gave us this wonderful gift of a son with Down Syndrome but begging him to walk the rest of the way with us.

I also know that our Papa was wiping our tears and whispering in our ears that he makes no mistakes and that this child is His and He will walk every step of the way with us as we parent him. (I guess Papa should have maybe given us a heads up about his super strong-will but that is another topic for another day).

Read the book, it is totally awesome. I will admit that it is "out there" at times. It is confusing a little when he gets to The Shack and meets Papa, Jesus, and Sarayu. Just know that those are meant to be God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. It took me a couple of pages to understand that:) The ending is so amazing that it is worth the harder to read parts in the middle. Enjoy and let me know what you think about it!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

One Snowy Day

When life looks like this on the outside....

Head to the rec center one town away for a little fun at the indoor waterpark!!

Everyone can join in the fun-even your neighbors and grandparents!!

Little girls can model their cute bathing suits while riding on a super fun float!

You can relax...

Have a fun family photo shoot in the pool

Swim with your neighbors

Practice your swimming skills

Get hit with water from the big mushroom thing

and just have fun in the water, humidity of the pool while it pours snow outside:) Happy Snow Day!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Missing the World

I feel like I am in a time warp. A fun, crazy, lots of quality down time with the kids time warp. We have basically been out of school this entire week except for a few short hours on Monday. The weather this week has been brutal with negative temps and lots of snow. We have had snow everyday except for Thursday but don't bring that subject up around Mike because clearly he has had a stressful week making snow calls. God love that man-he has been through the ringer this week. Waking up super early to make snow decisions and then listening to parents rail him for his decisions. That man has a strong, forgiving character because I would have lost my cool several times this week and he stayed full of grace.

Moving on from the love fest of my dear hubbie, here is the family scoop. The doctor has decided not to do radioactive iodine treatment on my dear Dad because the side effects outweigh the benefits. I am having a hard time trusting that idea because frankly that is my Dad and if that cancer has any chance of spreading, then do it!! I will be trying to find another doc for them for a second opinion next week:) Call me a control freak that is fine:)

I think I need to call a talent agency for my daughter. I have uncovered an amazing talent in her this week. She must have super sonic eye sight because that girl will move across the room as fast as a non-crawler can to get a speck of something. I have never seen anything like it!

My boys have become big cooks over this break. We have created lots of goodies in our kitchen this week-I will always remember this time with them in the kitchen. Cooking can teach lots of good lessons-fractions, reading, turn-taking, and patience. I must say that my Kyle can now break and egg with the best of them. Paula Deen and her boys should be on the lookout because me and my boys just may give them a run for their money in the future:)

I think all this home time has made me a little edgy.

Maybe life will get back to normal soon. The kiddos and I have created some sweet memories over the last few days. We have played games, watched movies, cooked, and it has been wonderful to see them enjoy some down time. They have even been cooperative for me to get my treadmill time and even a shower everyday!! For my husband's stress level, I pray sunnier skies are on the horizon for us soon. Here are some cute, random pictures that we have taken over the last few days:)

Hope in her cute Elmo outfit from Chad and Net Net. I love it!

David licking the beaters!

This one needs an explanation. Kyle and David made homemade chocolate chip cookies last night. To be creative Kyle decided to make a gigantic cookie rectangle instead of individual cookies and I let him. Here is the final product. we cut it into rectangles and they were really good!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Taco Pie

I love cold, snow days when you get to stay home and focus on your kids and house. I usually do a lot of cooking on these kinds of days. So today, to take my mind off of the stress of being a superintendent's wife on a snow day where Mike had a tough call today, I thought I would have some fun and cook one of our favorite dishes: Taco Pie!

This dish is one of our favorites-Kyle usually eats three pieces:) This dish was brought to us by our friend, Patty when we had David. Every time I make this dish it brings me back to that sweet summer 5 years ago. My bible study group brought us meals for 6 weeks and that summer I truly learned the definition of the words comfort food:)

This is a great weeknight dish that takes about 10 minutes to prep and 25 minutes to cook. The only downside is that there are usually no leftovers for the next night!

Ingredients needed:

3/4 or 1 pound of ground beef or turkey
1 roll of crescent rolls
1 bag of shredded cheese
12 ounces of sour cream (I use light)
taco seasoning packet
handful of tortilla chips

Start by spraying an empty pie dish with cooking spray. Here is the kind I use and most of the ingredients.

While your hamburger or turkey is cooking on the stove, line your pie dish with the crescent rolls. This does not have to be pretty or even symmetrical. Think patch work quilt and just cover the bottom and sides of the dish with the rolls. Right after you do this, check your hamburger and add the taco seasoning to the cooking hamburger. When your burger is done, drain off the fat!

Add the cooked taco meat to the crescent rolls.

Next take a big spoon and plop some sour cream over your taco meat. Use a knife to spread the sour cream over the meat.

Sprinkle the cheese on top and a few chips and it is ready for the oven! Bake at 325 for about 25 minutes. Enjoy this yummy dish! Sneak in some veggies by serving a salad with it:) Enjoy:)

Hopefully this dish will warm up sweet Davey:)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Snow Day

I love to take time and journal about pictures and memories with my kids. That is one of the big reasons that I blog:) I also love to do traditional scrapbooking, but at times I get bogged down in the fluff of scrapbooking and forget to focus on pictures and the stories behind them.

Anyway, we are snowed in today with a couple of inches of the white stuff. It is also super cold here. We are having a lazy day at home. Here are some cute pictures of the last week or so.

David as Bible Man! He got this getup from Uncle Daniel and Aunt Pam and he has really enjoyed the cape and mask. The mask is a little too big for him and I LOVE that he is winking from under that mask:)

Hope is really doing great with her sitting up! I can walk away from her now for a few minutes and she is happy as a clam. She will flop to her belly when she is tired and keep on playing.

Bible Man and Hope. Hope is finally starting to get into the boys' stuff and this morning I heard David saying "no no Princess!"

Sweet Hope is finally starting to feel better and we are so thankful:)

bible man David. He has really enjoyed running around in that cape today.

Hope got this cute ride on toy from my parents for Christmas and Kyle has been so sweet to help her ride it all around the house. It is so nice to have playmates around the house for Hope especially because I am in the thick of reading the book, The Shack.

I love that sweet face:)

On New Years Eve Kyle had swim practice and his coach sent some sparklers home from practice for working so hard. Kyle really enjoyed them on New Years Eve.

I love this cute sweater outfit that Hope got for Christmas and I LOVE a picture of a sweet, sleeping baby:)

Stay warm!