Sunday, July 31, 2011

Our weekend

I'm taking just a few minutes to post a few of my favorite pictures from the last few days. We've been having a fun and busy weekend. Yesterday we went to my Dad's house to have lunch and pick up a wheel barrow that he found for us at a garage sale. My Dad is the best at finding deals at garage sales. It's a hobby of his and he always finds the best things.
After we had lunch at his house and picked up the wheel barrow, we headed to Snow Goose for ice cream cones. Snow Goose has the BEST ice cream cones around. They are huge, cheap, delicious and I love the atmosphere there. It's a favorite spot for our family. Judah and Paisley were both tired and a little grumpy but, we still had lots of fun.
When Paisley is tired, she pulls on her ears and her hair. I sure love that girl! This morning when I went in to get her, she was standing up in her crib. She is getting big way too quickly!
This morning Judah and Jeremiah worked out in the yard. We got some playground wood chips for one area of our yard and they worked on unloading them from the truck and spreading them.
Working outside with Daddy makes Judah so happy. Jeremiah said that he was actually pretty helpful so, that's good. I guess it's good to start them young!

I've been starting to do more coupon shopping and it's really fun. Today I went to Rite Aid and found some great deals. Now I'm going to plan my Target trip for later today. It's fun to get stuff for free or really cheap. Last night I found out that an old friend of mine who has struggles with infertility and miscarriages is expecting! She is 11 weeks along and everything with her pregnancy is going wonderfully. I've prayed for her to be able to have a baby and it totally made my day to hear about her healthy pregnancy! It's amazing how God works, it's all about his timing, isn't it? There are a few other people that I know who have also experienced difficulties with fertility. I'm praying for them and believing that their day will come!

Friday, July 29, 2011

French Toast Casserole

I've decided that a weekly tradition at our house should be having breakfast for dinner on Friday's. It's easy and fun. Sounds perfect to me! This morning I whipped up some French Toast Casserole and stuck it in the refrigerator. I'll bake it later and for now, I'll just enjoy knowing that dinner is all ready to go in the oven.

1/2 cup raisins
  • 5 pieces of bread, cut into quarters
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon margarine, softened
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon maple flavoring

    Lightly butter a 9X13 baking pan. 

    Line bottom of pan with bread cubes, then sprinkle raisins over the bread.

     In a large bowl, beat together eggs, milk, sugar, salt, vanilla, cinnamon and maple flavoring.

    Pour egg mixture over bread. Dot with margarine. Bake in pre-heated 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes or until top is golden brown. 
    **I took this picture right before I stuck it into the fridge so, it hasn't been baked yet. 

    I think I'll pair this with a smoothie or a fruit salad. Yum!

    This Moment

    Today I'm linking up with SouleMama.
    {this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
    If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

    Thursday, July 28, 2011

    Go paint a rock

    Do you ever feel like you don't do enough crafts with your child? If so, go paint a rock.
    Feel like doing something fun, easy and cheap? Go paint a rock.
     Have newspaper, pretty much any type of paint, a paint brush and some rocks? Go paint a rock.
     Have a rainy day? Go paint a rock.
     Are you not very good at painting (like me)? Go paint a rock.
     Feel like bringing the outdoors inside? Go paint a rock.
     Do you love color? Go paint a rock.

    Mystery Bulb-Have any guesses?

    One of my favorite things about blogging is being able to document our everyday life. I already look back to what I wrote when Judah was just a baby and I'm so glad I wrote about the simple things we did. Of course, I try to focus on the positive but, I also want to be real and share what life with a two year old and 9 month old is really like.

    Today we had my sister and her boys over. When our older boys get together, something bad happens. They bring out qualities in each other that we don't normally see. Not good qualities either. They love each other so much and they are so comfortable with each other that they're practically like brothers. Today Judah was behaving so terribly that I was pretty sure that Sally was going to not want to come over here anymore! After taking to her on the phone after they left and creating a plan for next time we visit, I feel much better. She assured me that she'd still like to be my friend.

    I put my children down for their naps and went outside to do a small amount of weeding. It's a sunny day here today. Sunshine and plants make me very happy so, being outside was great. I have a mystery bulb coming up in my flower bed. It looks like an onion so much that I dug down to make sure that it really is a bulb. It looks a bit like a daffodil but, what would a daffodil be doing, growing at this time of year?
    Take a look at this picture and if you have any ideas about what this mystery bulb is, please let me know!

    Wednesday, July 27, 2011

    10 Tips & Tricks to getting your kids to eat more vegetables-Amazon Blogging Opportunity

    Getting your kids to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables seems like it’s something that most parents struggle with. Most parents know how important it is but, it’s still a challenge with young children who are often picky eaters. I’m definitely not an expert in this area but, there are a few things that we do and that I’ve heard other moms mention that can help kids eat more veggies.

    1. Start them early. Make your child’s baby food and make it healthy. If a baby is used to eating healthy foods from an early age, the chances of them continuing to eat healthy are greater. I make some of Paisley’s baby food and I know that it’s healthier for her to be eating fresh fruits and vegetables.

    2. Make it fun. When you’re in the produce section with your child, let them pick out some vegetables that look good to them. Let them choose fun colors or other things that they think look appetizing.

    3. Let your child help you cook the vegetables If you cook something with your kids, the chances are more likely that they’ll want to try it. Everyone likes to taste test, right?

    4. Offer a variety of colors and choices. Eating a variety of colors is not only healthy but, it’s also fun! Talk about what colors the vegetables are and taste the different colors.

    5. One word, dip! Let your child dip his or her vegetables in whatever dip they prefer. We like hummus, ranch, BBQ sauce and ketchup. Dipping can be fun and let’s face it, it also helps veggies taste better!

    6. Hide the vegetables. Make a spaghetti sauce with lots of shredded veggies in it or put carrots in Macaroni and Cheese. Add pureed cauliflower to mashed potatoes or put zucchini in your lasagna. Really, the possibilities for hiding veggies is endless.

    7. Make a smoothie! Make a smoothie and add avocado, cooked carrots, tomatoes. Also add lots of strawberries and pineapple and the taste of the vegetables will be covered up. My two year old thinks a smoothie is a major treat!

    8. Tell your child about the wonderful things that vegetables do for him. For example, carrots make your eyes stronger. If you teach your child about the healthy benefits, they may be more inclined to eat the veggies.

    9. Grow your own vegetables! Let your child experience the joy of growing his own food. Go out and pick the fresh produce together and then cook it together. Even better, eat it right then and there in the garden. It doesn’t get much better than that!

    10. Bake with vegetables. We bake healthy muffins and add lots of shredded carrots and shredded zucchini. It makes the muffins moist and delicious!

    I think most parents struggle with getting their children to eat enough veggies. Although it’s challenging, the good news is that there are many things to try to make healthy eating easier. As a mom, I know that it’s a daily battle but, if I’m intentional about feeding my family healthy, I can succeed.

    *****I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Peas and Thank You blogging program for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

    My child's unique sense of style- For JCPenney Blogging Program

    Part of the fun of having children is seeing them develop their own sense of style as they mature. My children are only two and 9 months so, I’ve only started to see their own sense of style develop. With my two year old, I try to let him pick out his own clothes whenever I can. He still doesn’t have strong preferences for what he likes to wear but, I still like to help him wear clothes that he feels good in.

    His favorite things are tractors, trucks, and all construction equipment. So naturally, his favorite shirts are the ones with Thomas the Train, a tractor, or a cement mixer on them. One of the biggest ways that I’ve seen his style develop is with wearing hats. He has a construction hat that he loves to wear and he also loves to wear his fireman hat. I think playing dress up is great for kids his age so, we have fun with that also.

    Since Paisley is still a baby, I get to pick her clothes and she doesn’t have a preference yet. It’ll be fun to see what she chooses to wear as she gets older. For me, I enjoy dressing her up in girly clothes. The little tutu’s and dresses are my favorite.
    It’s fun to have a boy and a girl because I get to experience the fun of dressing up both genders. I like to embrace that Judah is a boy and likewise, embrace that Paisley is a girl. God made them that way and I like
    them to dress as such. As they get older, I know that their personal preferences for their style will change and evolve. They might go through phases where I don’t really care for what they would like to wear and as their mom, I’ll have to guide them in making wise decisions. It will always be important to me that they dress modestly and don’t wear things that are inappropriate. I really want them to be able have their own style though. I think it’s important to not stress about the things that aren’t really important. If Judah has a favorite shirt that he wants to wear everyday, I’m not going to worry about it. When I was growing up, my sister had a purple dress that she wore everyday. Looking back, I think my mom must’ve washed it when she was sleeping. It’ll be fun to see what their sense of style is and how it changes as they grow older.

    ****I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and jcpenney blogging program, for a gift card worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

    Wordless Wednesday (almost)

    Last night I set my alarm for 6am so, I could have this....quiet time before my kids got up. If I read my Bible, have some coffee and get a shower before they wake, it'll make me a better mommy.
     Well, I got up at 6am but, apparently Paisley also had her alarm set this morning, for 5:59am. She had her toast and I attempted to have my quiet time. I'll try again tomorrow.

    Tuesday, July 26, 2011

    A couple potty training paragraphs

    This morning when I went to get Judah, he was dry. According to my sister, that's a pretty big accomplishment and I agree with her. He has been doing awesome on potty training and I'm so proud of him. I'll be honest though, I'm a little proud of myself also. I've been consistent and I think that really helps. We've been down stairs a few times and when he says he needs to go, you'd be amazed at how quickly I can scoop up a 38lb (he got weighed today) toddler and book it up our two flights of stairs. Really, potty training is actually like a work out for me. I'm running my two year old up the stairs like crazy, "racing" him down the hallway to try and make it fun and then I'm bending over all day long to pull those Thomas undies back up. And if you're a mom, you know how wiggly kids are when you're trying to put their pants back on or wash hands. Sometimes it really is like herding cats.

    I've also decided that my floor might just be the cleanest that it's ever been and also the dirtiest at the same time. I don't think I've ever wiped it down this much with a sanitizing wipe. I'll be buying those wipes in bulk because God knows I need them! Can I also just say how busy it is to be potty training a two year old with a 9 month old baby? This morning we were all sitting having breakfast. Judah says he needs to go and Paisley is in her highchair with food so, I run him down to the bathroom and get him situated. I go to check on Paisley since she was eating tiny pieces of toast. I run back to check on Judah and he's scooted his potty chair over to the toilet. He was holding the toilet seat up with his hands and hanging his head into the toilet saying "Heeellllloooo!!!! Heeeelllooo!!!" Seriously???!!!! I'm sure it echos nicely but, yuck!!! Get your head out of the toilet boy. I run and make sure Paisley is doing ok. Run back to Judah to sanitize his entire head. It's pretty much the story of my life these days.

    Monday, July 25, 2011

    Rain drops keep falling on my head

    Well, the rain is back and I know it sounds crazy but, it doesn't really bother me. We have grass that needs to grow and I'd rather let God water our yard instead of running the sprinkler all the time. On Mondays, I like to stay home and get caught up on things around the house so, that's what we've been doing today. Paisley took a 2 hour morning nap and Judah played while I vacuumed the upstairs and mopped. It's definitely not a glamorous life to stay home and clean but, it does feel good to get things done.

    A couple weeks ago, I decided that I'd try to find a cleaning schedule that would work for me or I would try to create my own. I found something that I like but, it needs to be downloaded in a different version of Excel than what I have so, I haven't been able to save it to my computer. Anyway, I'm inspired to have some sort of a cleaning schedule that I follow on a weekly and monthly basis. The goal isn't to have a perfectly clean house at all times or to spend everyday cleaning. For me, the goal is to have certain days that I will do things that always need to be done. That way I can see that everything gets done and I don't need to get overwhelmed or feel like I need to get it all done in one day. Once I get our cleaning schedule figured out, maybe I'll post it. Just in case anyone is curious about what works for us. I know I'm always curious how other moms handle taking care of the house.

    For dinner I'm making Chicken Taco soup in the crock pot. We've been eating crock pot food all the time lately and that seems kind of strange for July but, whatever works right???

    This afternoon I stepped outside and took a few pictures of the rain drops. Sometimes I like taking pictures of simple things. It helps me appreciate them more.

    Sunday, July 24, 2011

    9 months and spontaneous picnic

    Yesterday Paisley Rae turned 9 months old. I was looking back at pictures from when Judah was a baby and I realized that we have so many pictures of me holding him but, not very many of me holding Paisley. So, for Paisley's 9 month pictures, Jeremiah took them of us together. I don't want her to ever feel like there are less pictures of her as a baby or that she gets the sloppy seconds, just because she is the second child. So, I'm trying to stay up to date on her baby book, like I did on Judah's. I'll be honest though, it is harder with the second child to stay on top of things. I have to be way more intentional about it because I have so much less time than I used to!
     I just love this dress that she's wearing. We have been so blessed with hand me downs!

     Hello, blue eyes!
    So, yesterday we were planning on going to the Farmer's Market but, we ended up not getting packed up and into the car until 11:53am and the Farmer's Market closes at 12. We ended up running a few errands as a family and then going to a local park that we hadn't gone to before for a spontaneous picnic. It's been super cloudy around here lately so, having a sunny weekend has been awesome and much needed.

     The park had a baseball field and a dugout. It was pretty cute to see Judah walking around the baseball field with his construction hat on.
    After our picnic we came home for nap time and then we went and picked up a new truck for Jeremiah. It's actually a very old truck but, it's new to us. It's just a work truck for hauling things and picking up loads of dirt etc. Jeremiah had a little commuter car that had been literally sitting in our garage for over a year and we recently sold it so, we could get an old truck. The people we bought it from were a super nice older couple that go to church around here. It felt like God totally arranged for us to buy it from them.

    This morning we went to church and Paisley had pretty bad separation anxiety. When I went to pick her up from the nursery, they said that she had been crying almost the whole time. So sad! She just started to be a little distant from strangers the other day. I know it's totally normal and that it'll pass before I know it. Hopefully she'll warm back up to the nursery really soon.

    When we came home from church, we worked outside for awhile and then my sister and her family came over this evening for a BBQ. The boys were absolutely crazy running all around inside and outside and Jeremiah cooked hamburgers. I've been so proud of Judah all weekend with how he's doing on potty training. He was dry all day yesterday and today he didn't go in his underwear at all when we were home. Basically, whenever we are home I have him wearing underwear and I just take him to go potty ALL the time. I literally take him like every 20-30 minutes. Most of the time he goes and then I give him a sticker or sometimes an animal cracker. I think it's just all about being consistent and really sticking with it. It feels like my mind is consumed with it but, having him in underwear so he can feel if he has an accident and taking him all the time are really working. Plus, we've been home a lot lately so, that's really helped with being able to follow through.

    Now I'm off to go relax and go to bed. Good night!

    Friday, July 22, 2011

    Wilson Tennis Capri Pants-Review

    Recently the delivery man brought a sweet little package to my door. I was so excited, doesn't everyone just love receiving something in the mail besides bills? I opened the package to find the new Wilson Tennis Capri pants. I'm not joking when I say that I put them on right away and I wore them for the rest of the day.

    I'm not a tennis player but, I do like to be comfortable when I'm just doing regular stuff at home. I've been wearing these pants a lot lately and I'm totally loving them! My sister and I like to pack our kids up in strollers and go for walks. I've been wearing these pants for our walks and although they are black, they are light weight enough that I don't get too warm at all!

    Wilson Tennis Capri Pants
    The Wilson La Davine Capri Pant is a compression fit Capri that is lightweight, breathable, and flattering. The premium technical fabric and design allow for maximum moisture wicking and comfort. The Capri has versatile functionality whether training in the gym, playing on the tennis court, or just out and about running errands.

    Wilson Racquet Sports is a division of Chicago-based Wilson Sporting Goods, one of the world's leading manufacturers of sports equipment and owned by Amer Sports. Wilson designs, manufactures and distributes sporting goods throughout the world and focuses on making technologically advanced products which help players of all levels perform better. Wilson's core sport categories include: Football, Basketball, Baseball, Volleyball, Soccer, Youth Sports, Uniforms/Apparel, Golf, Footwear and Racquet Sports (Tennis, Racquetball, Squash, Badminton and Platform Tennis). For more information, visit

    I received a pair of Wilson La Davine Tennis Capri Pants for review purposes.  All opinions expressed are 100% my own. Many thanks to Wilson and SheBlogs for the opportunity to review the Wilson La Davine Capri Pant.

    Thursday, July 21, 2011

    Homemade Baby Food---Sweet Potatoes!

    Sweet Paisley Rae has had more store bought baby food than Judah did and she's also had more tummy problems than Judah ever did. Coincidence? I don't think so. In an effort to try to make her tummy more comfortable and to give her only the best, I whipped up a little Sweet Potato for her the other day. I added a decent amount of real butter to it and she loved it. 

    Get a sweet potato, poke a few holes in it with a fork and stick it in the microwave for about 3 minutes. After the 3 minutes, roll it over and microwave it for about another 2 or 3 minutes. You'll know it's cooked thoroughly when you can stick a fork easily in it.
     Let it cool for a little while and then peel all the skin off.
     Put the sweet potato, a few tablespoons of real butter and about a 1/4 cup of water into a blender. Sometimes I also add about 2 tablespoons of  flax seed oil. Blend, blend, blend and add more water if needed until it's a nice and smooth consistency.
    Keep it in the fridge in a tupperware for a few days or pour it into an ice cube tray and freeze it. Once it's frozen, pop the cubes out of the tray and store them in a Zip-Lock freezer bag for up to 3 months. 

    Wednesday, July 20, 2011

    Teaching to "Be Content"

    Isn't it funny how life with kids and pets can go from 0 to 60 so quickly? A typical morning starts with hearing Paisley over the monitor, I wake up go feed her and then I bring her out into the kitchen with me or put her on the floor in the living room with toys. I get some coffee and try to wake up some more while Judah is still sleeping. The house is pretty calm and quiet. After awhile, Judah wakes up, Paisley and I go get him. Shortly after that, I realize Rosie the dog hasn't been outside yet. Judah and Paisley need breakfast. Judah needs to go in the potty chair. My calm and quiet morning is suddenly chaos. Everyone needs something and I feel like a frazzled, spread too thin (but, not thin enough) mom.

    So, Paisley was in her highchair yelling because she needed something. Rosie was at my feet, Judah was needing something, getting into something and I was trying to meet all of their needs immediately. I was running around like crazy so that Paisley would settle down, Judah would be sitting in his booster seat with his breakfast, Rosie would have emptied her bladder and everyone would be happy. I go into high gear for what, so that no one has to wait? To avoid any fussing? So that the dog doesn't have to be patient for just another minute?

    When I was running around the kitchen all frazzled this morning at 8am, I realized that trying to meet every one's need that very instance actually isn't helping them in the long run. I'm not teaching them to be patient. In life, sometimes we do have to wait for a minute. It's not good set the expectation that things come easily and quickly all the time. Life isn't like that. Life isn't all about us and what we need this second. Of course I want my children to have all their needs met and more but, getting breakfast on the table 3 minutes earlier and feeling all frazzled isn't worth it. I refuse to let my children or dog for that matter run me in circles.

    I read something recently that I really liked. The author was talking about how it's not actually very beneficial for our children if we are always prepared for everything. If we have a snack to hand out at any second, a toy to be passed to the back seat at all times, an activity to always do or a place to always go. If we are going to be home from church in 10 minutes, it's OK to wait until we are home for a snack. It teaches patience and it's realistic.

    When Judah was a baby I didn't always give him toys in the car. He didn't ask for them and I didn't offer them. It wasn't something that I really made a big deal of but, I didn't want him to have this expectation in his mind that he always needed to be occupied while we were driving. To this day, he is happy driving in the car and although he sometimes plays with toys or reads books, he doesn't depend on it. He can happily ride along with nothing in his hands and just be content. Isn't that what it's all about, learning to be content and thankful?

    Tuesday, July 19, 2011

    2 1/2 years old

    Dear Judah,
    Today you are 2 1/2 years old. Every day I am amazed at the things you are learning. You are such a blessing in my life! I am so proud of who you are becoming. Of course, we have our hard times and you test me and act like a normal two year old. Even though parenting can be hard, you make me smile many times a day. 
     You are starting to enjoy singing songs with me and it's one of my favorite things to do with you. You like to sing the "B-I-B-L-E", "Deep & Wide", "Old McDonald" and many other songs. 
     You talk, talk, talk all the time and it's mostly about trucks. You LOVE all things truck related. You are also developing a shy side. When a stranger talks to you, you put your head down and you won't say anything back. I hope you can outgrow your shy phase because I don't want it to ever hold you back.
     You still take a good 2 or 3 hour nap every afternoon and you like to sleep with your two special blankets and many, many stuffed animals. You still sleep in a crib because you've never tried to climb out of it and you like your crib. Soon, you'll be too long for it so, we're going to need to get you a "big boy" bed soon. 
     Just recently you've started going potty on your potty chair sometimes. You are doing pretty well with it while we're home. I haven't tried taking you to the bathroom in public or at someone else's house yet. 
     You are a pretty good eater. In this picture you are eating yogurt. Sometimes lately, you just sit there and don't eat. I think you are too distracted with all the fun things you want to play with and talk about. 
    You love going to the library and getting new books and you love playing outside.
    Thanks for making the last 2 1/2 years the best years of my life, so far!
    I love you!


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