Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Crock Pot Wednesday

I decided it was time to dust off the crock pot the other day when I was faced with 15 minutes to make dinner and Mike had the same 15 minutes before he had to head out the door again. We ate take-out that night. I then realized that every Wednesday for the next 5 weeks was going to look similar....not to mention our Mondays are almost as crazy. I can't justify eating out every Monday and Wednesday....nor could I fit that in the budget. So, time to get a plan in motion. I came up with leftovers on Monday or in the event there are no leftovers we'll have soup and sandwiches. And on Wednesdays we'll use the crock pot. Perfect solution for us!! the only thing left to do is to come up with what to put in the crock pot. Lucky for me I found that Debbie over at Dining with Debbie is hosting Crock Pot Wednesdays. (it's like it was meant to be) If you need any inspiration head over there and check it out. There is a whole list of people participating with their own crock pot recipes.

Where's my recipe?? Well...actually I already posted my absolute favorite recipe and you can check it out HERE. Next week I'll come up with another one. I promise!! Have fun checking the recipes out and don't forget to let me know if you have a winner recipe. I'd love to try it out.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

what kind of day is it??

Let's check out what kind of day it is in our neck of the woods.

Ah...yes, it's a wonderful, sunny, windy, fall day. I'll take it over a rainy one anyday!!

Flags aren't the only thing flying and flapping about in this neighborhood...

What's this?


Are we surprised to find this girl on the other end of the string?

So...what kind of day is it, really??

It's a "I don't have a kite, but I going to use this trash bag and have mommy feel so sorry for me that she forgets that I have schoolwork to do!" kind of day.

What kind of day is it in your neck of the woods?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Life around here has kicked into high gear and after scrambling the past few weeks with meals, I decided to actually plan them out for the week. Well, duh! Menu planning used to be the "norm" for me and I'm looking forward to getting back into that habit. If you are looking for inspiration check out Laura's Menu Plan Monday over at I'm an Organizing Junkie. There are well over 300 people participating this week. You can click on any of the them and see their weekly menu and many include recipes.
Have FUN!!!

Take out from Three Brothers

Chicken Caesar Pitas
Buttered noodles
Roasted Asparagus

Pork Roast with Potatoes and Onions (crockpot recipe from Fix it and Forget it)
Green Beans

Burritos featuring Black Beans and Brown Rice and all the fixin's

Mexican Chicken Lime Soup
Plus any Leftovers

Flat Bread

Sunday Family Dinner:
Cauliflower Soup
(rest of meal to be determined)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Lion Piggie....

Some days...ok,'s a treat to have a child that is creative, imaginative and resourceful. You wake up in the morning and you just don't know what she's going to do to make you laugh. However, you can rest assured it will be something.

The other day, K walked in the room carrying Jimmy. I had no clue as to what she had been up to...yeah, yeah bad mommy, but she's 10 and generally a well behaved child. So this took me by surprise and made me giggle.

Meet Jimmy....

Doesn't he look scary? That is his lion's case you were wondering. K disappeared for a while.

When she made an appearance she was sporting her own mane. Umm, guys don't really look all that ferocious.

There....that's a little better. K has her mean face on and Jimmy...well, he's just being Jimmy. I don't think he has a tough bone in his little body.
Let's go closer for a better look....

If you squint and tilt your head to the, still looks like a sweetie pie.

What's that you say, Jimmy??

"I am lion piggie, hear me ROAR!!"

I stand corrected.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Rainy Day List...

After a busy week, I was so glad that Saturday was finally here. Best part was I had absolutely no preconceived idea at all of how this day would play out. It has been one of those wonderful "get little things accomplished and feel oh so productive" kind of days. It's cool outside and all the windows are open airing the house out. The afternoon even turned cloudy and rainy, but for some reason that didn't hamper my progress. If anything it fueled the relaxed, lazy kind of attitude that is needed for accomplishing teeny, tiny projects. You know the attitude required so you don't feel like you SHOULD be doing something else....BIGGER.

I started my day by getting up before Mike and K. Still unsure of the direction of the day, I plopped on the couch and watched something off the DVR list. Of course, when I was finished watching (and yes, I did zip through commercials) I deleted the program. Geesh, no one is going to call me unproductive today!!

Soon enough, everyone was up and we ran out...ok, drove (don't want you all to think I was THAT productive) to the nearest Starbucks. Then, they wanted a pastry....and not any of the kinds offered at the coffee shop. So, we ran (there I go with that word again...just assume anything to do with running does not involve me huffing and puffing or breaking a sweat) into our local grocery store. Since we were there...I filled up the cart with things that were on my list back home. There we go....being productive.

So, seeing it was going to be a productive day of sorts I decided that I can go with that. At this point it would just be easier to list some of the day's activities....

Spent some time in this room....

and proved that these can actually be emptied. Who knew?!?

Made a most delicious smoothie thanks in part to the above mentioned grocery store pitstop.
Ingredients included an apple, black seedless grapes, blueberries, strawberries, baby carrots, lemon juice, 2 handfuls of baby spinach, ice and a small scoop of protein powder. May not sound all that wonderful....but it was VERY good. I will repeat....probably tomorrow for lunch.

Organized my favorites on my computer. Stop laughing...that is a very productive thing to do. I had tons and what a pain it was to scroll through them all while I was looking for my hummus recipe bookmark! So, I got all of those put into nifty folders.

This led me to my next task. I decided to go through the Blog Folder and sort through them. I had tons in there and really no time to read all of them. So, I spent some time clicking through them and browsing. Some made the cut and some didn't. Some took my mind in different directions and I had to fight to stick with the plan.

Well, maybe I did get a little sidetracked. I found that one of my favorite things is happening again. Callapidder's Fall Into Reading Challenge is going on. Woohoo!! Check it out. So, you know what I spent some time doing....yep, checking out people's reading lists, starting my own and checking the library website to put some books on hold. I'll have my list up later this week. It's being tweaked.

And while I was organizing I found the recipe that started me in that direction for the afternoon.

No bonafide lazy productive day would be complete without some time being spent on taking pictures for your blog. So, I did spend some time snapping away....even got a picture of the lovely day outside to share on here.

A gray rainy day in my neck of the woods...

People started rumbling about dinner, so I went out and started cleaning this room....

just so I could mess it all up again. Something is VERY wrong with that, people!!

Found this potato recipe online...I'll let you know. Smells good!!!

If you've ever gone to a Pampered Chef party and wondered if you should shell out the bucks to get this piece.....DO IT!! My chicken will be ready in 30 minutes and will be cooked in the microwave! Yes, it won't have crispy brown skin....but it will be tender and juicy...and FAST! It's great for a "I spent too long on the computer" dinner.

Up next....We'll watch a netflix movie that needs to get out of here and then update my queue. Oh boy, the productivity meter in this house has shot through the roof.

Overall, a "very laid back, yet get some things done" kind of Saturday. I almost hope it rains next weekend.....


Sunday, September 20, 2009

close call...

There is one thing that mystifies me....ok, there are many things, but today I am focusing on just ONE. Out of all the things that we give our kids, what makes the lovey...well, THE LOVEY? Why does a child latch themselves onto a small piece of fabric and their whole well-being hinges on being able to touch that piece of fabric? In this specific case...let's discuss a piece of fabric with stuffing inside and two eyes.

Meet Brownie...

Brownie has seen better days, but considering the fact that he has been loved for over 6 years I think he is holding up pretty well. He still has his eyes and his nose is the original. Sure...his fur isn't quite the same as it once was. However, it's still holding the fluffing inside and that's all we ask.

Who knew that when Mike surprised K with this stuffed animal that this would become "IT". The must have at every bedtime no matter where in the world you are "IT". K had not had a lovey in her first 4 years of life. I guess nothing struck her fancy up to that point. Well, that sure changed when Brownie entered the home. He's gone to Disney twice, the beach several times, and various other road trips over the years. Of course...that can be somewhat risky. If your child has a "must have this piece of fabric " you've had that cold sweat inducing thought before....

"What if we.....LOSE it!??"

Do you get a sense of where this post is going?

Well, a few weeks ago we were in Delaware at son #3's wedding. We stayed in a nice hotel for 2 nights. Sunday rolled around and we packed up and loaded the car, double checking every nook and cranny and then we sat back in the room and watched some Mythbusters. You see, we had some time to kill because we were heading out to a family barbecue before heading back home. So...we were in the room after the car was all packed and ready to go. We even did a triple once over and I discovered that Mike left the hair clippers behind. Whew...close call!

So...we went on with our day and all was least until bedtime back home.

Oh yea, we did!!!

We somehow left Brownie back at the hotel!! Even though she is 10 years old and just inches from passing me in height....she was distraught. Her "IT" was not in the house. Somehow the world was not the same and we had to call the hotel that night. They told us to call back in the morning. That was rough....but she finally went to bed and woke up extra early to get Mike to make another call. After a few calls back and forth it was confirmed that they had Brownie in their possession. While this offered some relief it wasn't quite the same as having him in hand. Of course...they said to call back the next day to arrange shipping. So, another LONG 24 hours passed. When we called to get everything squared away we discovered that they also had found son #3's wallet....(which was not left behind in our room)...and this was a blessing indeed!!

Son #3 made a trip back to Delaware to retrieve his wallet and more importantly to retrieve Brownie. Brownie would not have to go through the postal system...which actually kind of scared ME! Anyway, before the day was over, Brownie was back where he a very relieved 10 year old's arms.

They both slept well....

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Picture...

I snapped this picture on vacation and looking at it today I see quite a bit more then I did originally. I see God, Country and Family....I think it fits as my post today.

Monday, September 7, 2009


I started this blog when we were remodeling a kitchen. We wanted to document the process and share it with family. As that project drew to a close, I began focusing on our adventures in homeschooling and life. It's become a way for me to just share about what's going on with the family...the crazy things, the brilliant things, even the ho-hum things. Somehow along the way, I've actually had a reader or two check in on us and even leave a comment. Only fellow bloggers know the feeling of getting a comment on something you've shared. There is a connection made and it encourages you to share the next highlight of family life.

Eleven days ago we experienced an incredibly devastating loss....and even though I'm still at a point where I just don't have words, I feel like my blog is a lie if I don't share it. I feel like I couldn't possibly post another thing without acknowledging our pain.

Back in January, our oldest son asked us if we were ready to be grandparents. Ready? Are you kidding? I was ready the day I knew I was expecting him. You plan out your child's future the moment you find out you are pregnant and even though you know it's not going to go like your plan, you can't help but see a future family. Your desire is for your child to be loved, to be happy, to be secure, and to never feel heartbreak. You see your child with a loving spouse and you just know your child will be such a good mommy or daddy. So, yes, I was ready.

Over the next few months we learned that our first grandbaby was a boy. Peyton Mathias was his name. Mathias is in honor of my late father-in-law...J's grandpa.

Just like when you find yourself can't help but imagine the future. All the things you dreamed of for your own child, you now dream of for your grandchild. Peyton was loved by many and we hadn't even met him, yet. We knew he would be the cutest baby on earth...and he would be smart, of course. I could see him grown up with his own family. (maybe I'm weird like that....but I think since family is so special to me, I automatically look forward in a baby's life and see a family)

Waiting is never easy and waiting for 9 months when you aren't the one carrying the baby seems even longer. Mid-September was the time frame that we were anticipating a new arrival. Everything was going well until it wasn't...

Eleven days ago, we got the news that Peyton had left this world. (the placenta had started pulling away) He was born August 28, 2009. He was almost 4 pounds and was a perfect and beautiful baby...who looked a whole lot like my two youngest children.

I still don't have the words to adequately explain the sense of loss...but that's ok.

I can say that the hardest part is knowing/imagining/seeing the pain your grown up children are going through. My daughter in law IS my child, too. She became my child even before their wedding day...I can't help that. So, I feel for my two grieving children. I feel deeply for them. They are doing well right now...but I know it's going to be a emotional rollercoaster ride for them.

I long for a magic wand that wipes the pain away....but I know it is a process and no wand will ever erase it. I know Peyton will forever be my first grandbaby and will forever be in my heart. I know Peyton IS loved by many. I know he is secure and happy in Heaven. I know he will never feel any heartbreak....

He will be missed here on Earth, though.

Peyton Mathias Kohout
August 28, 2009

(my angel grandbaby)