Friday, April 30, 2010

Where Do You Live - Princess Castle

Make-believe and imaginary games are a huge part of our household. So, when the girls saw these canopies at IKEA ($10) and wanted them for their beds (so they could be princess beds) I had to say yes. Now I really tuck in my princesses at night.

**And, yes, that is a new bed in Sara's room. It had to be replaced due to a horsing around accident involving Daddy who is not small. It is also an IKEA purchase and is a lot of fun! And, a bonus is that we no longer need the bed rail and Sara has never fallen out of bed. Also, she seems to be sleeping better in it. Psychological, maybe, but we'll take it!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Where Do You Live - Museum

I take my job as a homemaker pretty seriously; you gotta take pride in your work, right?! So, I've been wanting to journal a bit about this job of mine. One of the things that constantly amazes me is all the roles that a home takes on. I'll be doing these "Where Do You Live" series to document all the fun things that our house does for us and the things that make our house a home.

I know I keep a clean house, but did you know that we live in a "museum"? The girls gave me a tour of their "museum" (ie: the basement family room and adjoining hallways) the other day. The best part is that now any time another kid comes over, they add their own pieces - all originals, yah, I'm lucky - to the museum. You can see works by Laura, Sara, Lily and Jacob in the following picture. Our girls also rotate their own works occasionally. I don't know how long I'll keep this up, but we sure are enjoying it now. I love encouraging the girls creativity by displaying their artwork with pride.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I've been enjoying my new lights and background. This week I've had the black up. Here are some of my favorite photos.

My gorgeous Mom!

My cute, cute nephew Jeff. He is sporting his "missionary" haircut because he turned in his papers this week!

My Schoolgirl Laura!

Having fun! Yep, this "donut" position was completely Laura's idea and I love how it captures her!

How I love Eliza's hair in this picture!! We call it her "chicken-fluff"

How big is 'Liza??

Sara, being well, Sara. Silly, and not cooperative. But she sure makes me smile!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tana's Party

I hosted my sister's 50th birthday party this last Sunday. She wanted to ignore it, but as her sister, I thought she needed to be a bit spoiled. So, I invited all the local family over to my house for a party.
The party was easy and fun - especially since the weather was so beautiful! I made my favorite spinach tomato pasta (quadruple batch) and got the house all ready to host 24 people. The rest of the family brought in salad, garlic bread, drinks and ice cream and cake. We had a great time all chatting and laughing and celebrating Tana!
The big thing that I did was to compile a book of memories and qualities the family loves about Tana. It was my gift to her and it was huge!! After much nagging, (a task I abhor, but thought it was worth it for my sister and the end result) I got every member of her/my side of the family (and a couple of her husband's side due to the wonders of Facebook) to submit something for her. Yes, that was 38 people. After some insanely late nights of editing, piles of help from my mom with pictures and layout, sneaky maneuvers by much family to get some recent pics of her little family, and Jason fighting technology for me, the book turned out beautifully.
I think she was really touched when I gave it to her and I hope that when she is feeling sick (she has systemic lupus) or just bumming, she can read it and know what a difference she has made in a lot of people's lives. Oddly, I didn't get any pictures of the book itself or the food/house for the party, but really, the point was my sister and the tears that came to her eyes when she started reading the book. Thanks to everyone who helped me get that done for her. And, if any of the family who contributed did not get a chance to see the book and would like to, let me know and I'll send you a link to the finished product.
Super Easy Spinach Tomato Pasta
2 C pre-cooked diced chicken
12 oz penne pasta (cooked al-dente)
10 oz pkg frozen chopped spinach (thawed and drained)
14 oz can diced tomatoes
16 oz jar alfredo sauce
1/2 C milk
1 T flour
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 C Parmesan Cheese
Preheat Oven to 350. Cook pasta as directed, drain and leave in colander. Microwave spinach for 3 mins to thaw then drain. Heat alfredo sauce in pasta pot. Put milk and flour in emptied alfredo jar, shake and combine with sauce. Heat to simmer. Add tomatoes, spinach, Italian seasoning, garlic, onion and chicken. Stir until combined. Add pasta and stir to combine. Pour entire mixture into baking dish (sprayed lightly with Pam) and top with Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes and serve.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

One Year Older...

Well, I had another birthday. I kept it super low-key this year because I was hosting my sister's 50th birthday party at my house the day after my own birthday. But, I still got spoiled on my own day. The spoiling began with singing and snuggles.
Jason shopped at Walmart for all the party supplies for Sunday and let me just sit and get a pedicure (Thanks Mom B.; it's what I used my birthday money from you for) while he did it. Oh yes, he is THAT awesome!! Laura got her toes painted with me. And then, of course I had to paint Sara's toes to match Laura's when we got home.
We then went out to lunch with my parents. I have been super nauseated lately due to a change in meds (yes, I finally succumbed and went on prednizone) so we went to get breakfast food at One Man Band with my parents.

Since the girls couldn't wait any more, we went home and the girls - well, technicially they "helped" me - opened my presents. Jason took the time to wrap everything individually so the girls could help me longer. I got quite the new wardrobe from Jason and my folks. (I've been saving everything springy for about 3 months now) Shoes, blouses, skinny jeans and headbands. I look much more "stylish and 'istinguished" now! Really, my birthday would've been so boring without the girls excitement and love all day!

Then I had the cake my mom made me (lemon poppyseed deliciousness that reminds me of my Grandma) and delayed the homemade ice cream until my tummy calms down next week. The girls sang and sang to me and I loved it!! Thanks Girls, Jason, Mom & Dad for giving me a wonderful birthday!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Kid Day

We had planned on taking Deb's boys this past Saturday so they could celebrate Joe's birthday. So, when I found out Steph was going to be without husband on the same day, I figured we'd add Creed to the mix. We dedicated the day to the kids and had a great time playing.

The favorite game (HOURS of entertainment) was pirates. We recently went to Pirate Island for lunch and the girls were in pirate mode. The kids would "walk the plank" by sliding down the slide. Jason and I would tell them in our best pirate voices to "{pirate name}walk the plank" and "splash" when they reached the bottom. Eliza, who was strapped to me via Moby Wrap the whole time, thought this dramatic procedure was hilarious and laughed at all of us until she got the hiccups.

Lancing Laura entertained us all by employing many styles of walking the plank.
Captain Creed loved the commentary and we loved the smiles he gave us. Oh yah, he was grinning at me in that last pic. He also adored that the slide was yellow, his favorite color.
Ephraim the Eater (totally not creative, I know) was fearless, would slide down with abandon in any position, and despite being the youngest was the absolute fastest to cycle through.
Swashbuckling Sara, though having the best pirate name, was much more concerned about conquering the rock wall than sliding. She finally did conquer it completely independently and refused to use the stairs all day. She was great at climbing it by the end.
Jousting Jacob was not his usual happy self. And slid down a very limited number of times and without much enthusiasm. He much preferred hanging out inside and watching Monsters, Inc.
My girls' favorite part of the day was getting to hug on baby Ollie when Steph came down to pick up Creed. I have been able to see Steph a lot more lately, and I must say that chatting with her and snuggling Ollie was one of my favorite parts as well.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Rainy Spring Break

What do you do when it rains/hails all day on the first day of Spring Break? At our house we stay in jammies and watch a movie! And Eliza discovered that she likes (hull-free by Mommy) popcorn a whole lot!
We paint fingernails because they can last a few days before being removed to comply with uniform code.
And Mommy takes pictures of her darlings! Lots of pictures! Laura is collecting snow globes and really wanted a picture with them. I thought it was a good idea. And then I had to take more of the baby, and despite refusing to get dressed, Sara had to get in on the act.

We are hoping for some nice weather soon...we want to ride bikes, swing, pretend to be pirates, go to the park, go on adventures, etc.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Eliza @ 8 Months

Oh my, Eliza is 8 months old! Check out how much she's grown!

She weighs 16 lb 11 oz. She has increased her vocabulary to 3 words: Uh-Uh (for up up), Ha (for Hi) which is always accompanied by a wave, and last month's Ah-Wah (for Laura). Her fun tricks are to give five, do "So Big" with her arms in the air, wave hi and bye.

Some of her favorite activities are her baths, watching her sisters, being a rubber baby, reading, grabbing faces and giving kisses, sitting and going outside.
We are just enthralled with this magic baby! She is teething and her nose has been constantly running from the teeth and regular colds. Yet, she is still so easy and happy. So, here comes a ridiculous amount of pictures of the many faces of this precious Eliza!
Her normal I want to kiss those lips.

Big Smile

Satisfied Smile

Happy and Content

Those precious toes are often stinky, but that face is always angelic

Pretty profile - She's always looking around

She's always working on moving about while sitting. Her balance is amazing as she reaches for toys and recovers her sitting position.

She is looking way too grown up here for Mama's comfort