Monday, March 30, 2009

A Snowy Sunday!

Our church canceled the services for Sunday but our sister church was open so we went there Sunday morning. Then we went to Gigi & Papa's for lunch. I knew playing in the snow would come after that. The kids and Derrick built the snowman that we called "Papa Jerry" and I helped build the "Gigi" snowman. After that we had a family snowball fight. I knew it would be smart to head in the house very quickly after I finally got my target of Derrick's face. Once he was aiming for me and got Isabella on her head. ;) Oops! She didn't like that very much! Take note of Samantha eating snow in some of the pictures! Also note that she let the "Gigi" snowman wear her shoes. The pictures were taken with my grandma's camera but I did get mine back today! Yay!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

We braved the snow today!

Derrick says I don't blog anymore every time I go a week without blogging. Today it will only be 2 days since I've blogged. Ha! That ought to show him!

We had such a fun day today! We got the snow that the kids have been dying to have that I thought they surely weren't going to get this year! I think they might actually have prayed for this snow so if anybody has any qualms with it, talk to them! ;) This morning we drove in the pouring down snow to see the Symphonic Safari at the Performing Arts center. They played musical instruments to the stories of animals. There were a lot of children there so it was okay for Isabella to make a little noise and it not be very noticeable. My father-in-law was actually supposed to be the narrarator had he not had to go to Florida for his surgery. :( I wish he could have been here! We had gone with a couple of sets of our friends and their kids and afterward we went and ate at Mazzio's with them. After the show the kids got their faces painted. It was too cute. I got pictures with my phone. Bailey was a monkey and Samantha was a cat.

After Mazzio's we went to the cousin's house! The kids played outside, came back in and thawed out, went back out again... Aunt Dana made us hot chocolate and snow ice cream. It was yummy! I measured 8 inches of snow in their front yard. Then we came home and spent time together.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Our cat has strong bones!

Yesterday morning we went up to my mother-in-law's elementary school to see a live cow demonstration before we headed on to gymnastics! They milked the cow right there on the spot! Pretty neat! The students dressed up as cowboys and cowgirls so I decked Samantha and Bailey in their cowboy boots and Bailey even had a cowboy hat and a carry along horse! I wish I had pictures. The good news is my camera is being repaired! Well, the man had talked to the children about how milk makes their bones strong. So, what did I see this morning? Bailey giving our cat his left over milk from his cereal bowl. At first I thought it was just random. Then he grabbed Job's elbow and said, "Mom, look! His bones are strong!" Bailey is so concerned with what foods will make him strong. "Does this salad make me strong?" Yes. "Do cookies make us strong?" No.

The cousins came over today and we are always thrilled about that. I did manage to get pictures of all 6 of the kids gathered around the table eating their lunch today from my phone. So, as soon as Derrick helps me set it up (I tried but had some administrative issues) to put pictures onto the computer I can put some recent pictures on.

Good news on Papa Rick today! Yay! Our prayers were answered and he got to keep his kidney and spleen and they got all the cancer.

Bella has her weight check tomorrow and we are hoping that she has gained enough that she won't have to have her diet monitored closely in the hospital (she's just little- I'm not worried about her!)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A simple dinner and another smoothie recipe

Tonight we had a very simple dinner but it was really good. It seems like something that would be good to eat on a summer day. We just had grilled cheese sandwiches (with the healthy, hearty multi-grain bread and the good velveeta cheese) and Aunt Laura's pasta salad. Of course, I will have to make a fruity smoothie in a little bit. It helps a sweet tooth! For the sandwiches I usually use Smart Balance butter but tonight I used a butter stick. Here is the recipe for the pasta salad:

Boil a box of Garden rotini until cooked, strain, and add the following:
Artichokes, cut up (I get a big bottle from Sam's because it's cheaper to buy them in bulk and I can make pasta atleast a few times with this jar)
Canned tomatoes, strained (or fresh)
1 regular bottle Italian dressing
I didn't add this tonight but I usually make this with fresh mushrooms and little blocks of Colby/Jack cheese
You can also add garlic salt but I don't usually

Now for that other smoothie:
Almond butter smoothie

2 TBS almond butter
1 cup Soy milk or milk
2 frozen bananas (or more if it's not thick enough)
1 TBS cocoa powder
To sweeten you could use a tsp or so of honey, agave nectar, pure maple syrup

Another version is using natural peanut butter (or regular) and adding a little almond extract or vanilla. You could do half milk and half vanilla or plain yogurt. You could use ice instead of bananas and mint extract.
I like to just experiment. They are so good. If I am hungry I make sure to make it filling with peanut or almond butter.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


We love smoothies at our house! And they are so healthy! A friend of mine taught me the secret of halfing bananas and keeping them in the freezer in a ziploc bag to make them with. I think it makes them taste better than adding ice. We make all different kinds but here are some of our favorite recipes. If you have a favorite smoothie, I'd love to know about it! Please leave a comment with the recipe.

Banana Nut Winter Smoothie

I got this recipe from the container of Dannon All Natural Vanilla Lowfat Yogurt.

1 banana, frozen
1 cup Dannon All Natural Vanilla Lowfat Yogurt
1 TBS Natural Peanut Butter (I added this)
¼ cup walnuts (I used pecans)
½ ground cinnamon
1 tsp honey (optional)
1/8 ground nutmeg

Passion Fruit, Mango, Pineapple
This one tastes professional (Jamba Juice, Smoothie King)! I think it's the Passion Fruit that makes it SO good!
2 cups water
1-2 frozen bananas
1 passion fruit (it's very small but has big flavor)
1 or 2 mangoes cut up
some pineapple cut up
Spirulina -optional(We love it for the health content but some people don't like the taste. I think we're used to it now and don't notice the difference.
1-2 cups of ice

Blackberry, raspberry, blueberry
1-2 frozen bananas
Frozen blackberries, raspberries, & blueberries (We get a big mixed bag from Sam's)
2 cups water
Spirulina or you freeze a bag of spinach leaves and put them in- optional, just healthier
This one is even better if you add some frozen strawberries.
If you want it to be more filling you could add pecans or walnuts.
Sometimes we add a little honey for a sweeter smoothie.

Strawberry, banana
1-2 frozen bananas
some frozen strawberries
Spirulina (optional)
2 cups water

Blueberry,banana smoothie
My friend just sent me this one and it's pretty good!

1-2 cups vanilla soymilk
1-2 frozen bananas
1 TBS peanut butter (totally optional! I think I liked it best without but it is more filling with the peanut butter.)
1 cup or so of blueberries

Juice Plus has some really good shakes that are chocolate and vanilla. They are very healthy but expensive.

Monday, March 9, 2009

"Asgusting" Dogwood Trees

We've started a Sunday ritual of going to Mazzio's sometimes after church in the morning or sometimes after church at night. We love their salad bar. This past Sunday night we were walking in and Derrick commented on the Dogwood trees there and how they were his favorite scent of the Spring. I began thinking, "I didn't even know Dogwoods have a smell & hasn't he ever smelled roses, peonies, tulips..." He and Bailey snapped some little pieces from the tree and handed me one of them. I smelled it because I had to smell this scent they supposedly had. Well, in my opinion, it was not a pleasant smell. Sorry, Derrick! ;) On the way home Bailey had his piece of Dogwood in his hand and he smelled it. I heard him say, "Mom, this smells asgusting!" Seriously, if you have never smelled a Dogwood tree before, you should! Or, really, you shouldn't! I feel like I just "dogged" Derrick!;) I know what he means- the smell of Spring. I love everything about Spring, including my birthday! Last year I posted about how our little trees are Derrick's babies and he diligently waters them and cares for them. Of course, one of these trees is a Dogwood. The blossoms though? Beautiful.

*Oops! Derrick informed me the ones in bloom right now are Bradford Pears, not Dogwoods.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Long Lasting Play Dough

I love this play dough! It is sooo soft and smells sooo good.

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup salt
1 TBS Cream of Tarter
3 TBS oil
2 cups water
package of desired color of kool-aid

Boil water with oil. Mix everything else together. Pour water/oil into other mixture. Knead it. It will be a little hot. You can use wax paper to knead it in if it is too hot.

It makes a pretty good batch. This last time we used grape/purple Kool-aid and ended up using two packages to get a good purple color. Normally we only use one package of Kool-aid. We stored it in ziploc bags. It would also be fun to put glitter in it.

I loved playing with it too and we made snowmen.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A sweet day!

*A side note* I was reading a book last night that I know some of you have already read. I love it! It is called, The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace. So, so good! I definitely recommend it!

Well, I hope you weren't listening to 102.3 to hear me blubbering about on the radio! Embarrassing! I didn't know what to say just on the spot like that! A friend of ours called this morning and said that the radio station was having people call in today with a daughter named, "Isabella." All I did was listen to the radio on the way to gymnastics. Then, later on the way to Chik-Fil-A. Then I drove to Sam's after lunch and a little shopping at the mall and when I got back in the car from Sam's the announcer was saying something like, "If you have a daughter named Isabella call in now. The first caller wins." So, I called in and would you believe I won! I was pretty shocked! I won 4 tickets to an RV/Recreation show. The conversation went something like this:

Announcer: Hi, there! Well, do you have a daughter named Isabella?
Me: I do! (Nervous laughing)
Announcer: Well, what can you tell us about her?
Me: Uhh, well, she's 15 months old. She's a sweetheart!"
Announcer: So, are you sleeping through the night now?
Me: Yeah, oh yeah!
Announcer: So, tell me, why did you decide to name her Isabella?
Me: (This is the part where I really should have had something interesting to say but couldn't think why in the world we named her that!) Umm, we just really liked the name Isabella. We thought about Isabelle but wanted to name her Isabella so we could call her Bella too! (I guess really there was more rhyme and reason to her middle name Selah, from the Bible but I just really thought Isabella was a beautiful name and Derrick liked it too).
Then he told me what I won & got my information.
Samantha smiled and we laughed (Bay was in Derrick's truck and I just had the girls) when we heard my voice on the radio and I was already calling to tell Dana and turned the radio up loud with her on the phone.

Before this Derrick met us at gymnastics because he had a day off and we ate lunch with my g-ma at Chik-Fil-A. I had gotten something in the mail to get something free at a store in the mall and they also gave me $10 off for a purchase so I got my favorite lotion for free! Then my g-ma gave me another coupon to come and get something else for free for $10 or up that they had given her for her purchase. What is it with today? I just keep getting blessed! It's been fun! Being on the radio was neat!
As I wrote this, Bailey came running saying he heard the ice cream man. We couldn't catch him on foot by the time we rounded up enough change so we had had to get in the car and chase him down. The kids should have been laying in bed but it was just so exciting we didn't want them to miss it! Samantha was so excited and said, "We catch-ed him!" She came back and repeated it again to Derrick. Now they are on the trampoline eating their ice cream until I round them up to rest their little bodies for Awana tonight. They have had such a good day too having their dad off work, Chik-fil-a, ice cream cones there, gumballs from the quarter machines (I usually don't have a lot of quarters!), and now ice cream from the ice cream man (which, by the way, is what Bailey wants to be when he grows up right now). Can we say too much sugar?! On top of that, Bailey read a book to me last night so Derrick took him to get a prize for that. He got him a long super rope twizzler thing and a beginner book (Bay picked out one about Chicken Little).
I got a picture of Samantha (still in her gymnastics outfit) and Bailey with their ice cream with my phone but will have to wait until I can get a wire to put it on the computer.