Friday, January 29, 2010

Cheerleader in training

Lily participated in a mini cheer camp last week. She then got to perform her cheers at the High School basketball game with all of the other little girls. She had fun and was glad that cousin Bailey was with her. Here's the video of our little cheerleader (who cheers to her own beat!).
video

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tasty Tuesdays!

Yippee for Tasty Tuesdays. Today I brought a freezer meal to my grandparents. This is a great recipe that I made the other night, and just froze the unused portion. Any type of casserole can be done this way, or even doubled when you make it and freeze the second one. This is a great way to save time and money!

Chicken and Pasta

1 small onion sliced
1 large red pepper, sliced
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 large chicken breast, diced
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 tsp Italian seasoning
8 oz dried penne pasta
shredded Italian blend cheese

In a skillet, cook onion, red pepper and garlic in EVOO (extra virgin olive oil). When softened, add tomatoes, chicken and Italian seasoning. Cook pasta according to directions. Serve chicken and veggie mix over pasta,top with cheese, or place pasta in a greased 9x13 pan, and top with chicken and veggies. Top with cheese, cover, and freeze. Add label with instructions: Thaw, bake at 350 for 30 minutes, covered.

Enjoy!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Mom vs Mouse Part 2

My wonderful neighbor stopped by last night and asked how the "Great White Hunter" was doing. I laughed and said I had not caught my little mouse yet. He offered to take care of it for me when I finally did. (His wife is the one that sold me the mouse traps, so he knew my little problem). So this morning I check my trap, and I got a tiny little mouse. Even though it is a tiny mouse, I'm not touching it! I posted on Facebook that I had caught the mouse and was going to bribe my neighbor to dispose of it for me. A dear sweet friend of mine saw this and offered to help me out. I took her up on the offer and she came and got rid of the mouse for me. (Yes, I bribed her too!). So I have officially won the first round against the mouse. Thing is, I know that there are probably more. I set another trap tonight, and still have my bait set out.
We already ate the first batch of cookies I made to bribe my neighbor......I better make more!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Scentsy

Scentsy has a great promotion this month! All hostesses earn double the half prices items. It's not to late to sneak in a home party or a basket party. The scent of the month, berry blush, is my new favorite. The warmer of the month, Hugs and Kisses, is a great Valentine gift.

Next month everything in the fall/winter catalog is 10% off. I'm going to have an end of season sale, and I'll keep you posted on a date for that. The scent of the month for February is Vanilla Suede, and the Paws warmer is super cute!

To encourage you to take advantage of these specials, I am throwing in my own special. Host a party or basket party in January or February and I'll give you a plug in warmer. Contact me to set up your party.

Don't forget you can always order directly from my website by clicking on the ad on the side of the page.

Have a Scentsational Day!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mom vs Mouse

I HATE mice, well, any rodent for that matter. I'm a farm girl who has seen many mice in my day, and they still freak me out. I have many stories of me hiding up on a counter or screaming at the tiniest of mice. So you can understand my pounding heartbeat when Lily came to me yesterday morning.

Lily: Mom, I saw something run across the toy room.

Me: Like what kind of something?

Lily: Like a mouse or rat.

Me: (Totally freaking out) How big was it Lily?

Lily: Like this big. (Holding her hands to show a good size mouse)

Me: Where did it go?

Lily: It's behind the TV.

Me: Go see and tell me if you still see it. (As I stand at the edge of the room, not going in, Lily looks behind the TV).

Lily: It's still there. It's just a moth.

Me: Really, a moth, SERIOUSLY?????

She convinces me that it was just a moth, but I am still a little weary. Last night I was watching TV and saw a tiny little mouse run into the porch. So Lily really did see a mouse, but may have realized Mommy was freaking out, then called it a moth.

So today I have declared war on this little mouse. I bought bait and traps. Is it a clique to put cheese in the trap? I cut a little piece of cheese and went to set the trap. As soon as I slid it into the little hiding place on the porch, the trap snapped and had me jumping 3 feet backwards into the doorway, smacking my elbow. After my heart slowed down a little, I looked and could not find the stupid piece of cheese. So I cut another piece of cheese and went to reset the trap. Four times that thing snapped before I finally got it where I wanted it. Four times I jumped! Where is my husband when I need him for these things! Which leads into the next problem. There is no way I am touching that trap if it actually catches a mouse. I will have to ask a neighbor to come dispose of it for me.

Guess I better start making cookies to bribe my neighbor!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tasty Tuesdays!

I made a very yummy soup yesterday and was amazed how quick and easy it was. I shared the recipe with a friend on facebook, and she loved it also. I'm a seasonal cook and love a bowl of warm soup in the winter. So make a batch of soup and be warmed!

Cheesy Cream of Broccoli Soup

2 cups finely chopped broccoli
1 can chicken broth
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cups velveta

Cook broccoli in chicken broth for 7 minutes. In separate pan, combine butter, flour and milk, stir constantly until thickened. Add to broccoli. Add pepper and velveta. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Enjoy!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Legoland

We have been wanting to visit Legoland in California for the last few years. Nate is obsessed with legos right now, and we feel this is the perfect time to go. I started looking at airfare and condo availabilities, and found 5 days in March, over the kid's mid winter break. I just about bought the airline tickets, but the price had gone up (plus all of the rediculous extras they charge). We decided to wait until later this year to go.
I also wanted to take the opportunity to teach the kids a lesson. I printed out a map from the Legoland website and taped it to an empty canister. We told the kids that we are all saving up for a trip to Legoland. The kids emptied their piggie banks into the canister. Then they went through thier toys, and choose some that they will sell at our garage sale this spring. The kids are also planning on selling lemonaid at the garage sale (their idea). When they ask for extras (like paying for a membership to Club Penguin) I use that moment to remind them that we are saving money for Legoland.
Sunny California, here we come!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Say What?

What? This is the most popular word out of my mouth lately. It started a year ago October when I had a sinus infection and felt like my ears were going to burst. I was told by the Dr. that my ears were fine, it was just the pressure from my sinuses. I was told to take an antihistamine and it would dry up the extra fluid in my ears. I tried this for months, and still I knew I couldn't hear as much as I should. I struggled to hear in some of my classes, and learned to sit up front or under the speakers in class. This past October when I got yet another sinus infection, the ringing in my ears got worse, along with my hearing. I waited a few month to make sure it wasn't' just after effects of my sinuses (again) and after many battles with my husband over this subject, I went to the Dr. again. This time I had a hearing test that proved to me that I had major hearing loss. I was referred to an ENT specialist and went in last week. After another hearing test, the Dr. thinks that I have Otosclerosis. It is an overgrowth of bone in the middle ear that causes ringing and hearing loss. He put me on prescriptions for 6 weeks, but most likely I will need surgery. I am actually releived that they think this can be fixed, but at the same time frustrated that I have to wait another 6 weeks. I haven't told many people about my hearing loss (yes, I have been in denial) and am getting better about asking people to speak up. I am praying that surgery will fix the problem and I will not have to have hearing aids.

Funny story......

As I was leaving the ENT office, I stopped by the receptionist's desk to make an appointment for 6 weeks later. She asked my last name, I told her. She then asked my first name, but I didn't hear her. She looked at me funny and asked again for my first name. I said, "Oh sorry, it's Holly, I don't hear very well". She then looked at me dead serious and asked, "Are you here for your ears?". I just laughed and said yes. I wanted to day, DUH!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Balance

Yesterday at school Nate got in trouble for trying to make a snow goon instead of the snowman craft the group was making. He was upset after school and told me he was just trying to be like Calvin (Calvin and Hobbs Attack of the Snow Goons is his favorite book right now). I told him that there is a time and place to express his creativity, and then a time and place where you just need to follow directions. This was difficult for me because I feel that too many things today lack creativity. I have always encouraged the kids to be creative and think outside the box. At the same time, there are times in life where you need to follow directions. So how do I teach my kids balance? I deep down believe that their creative thinking will take them far in life. Society likes to make a little box for everyone to fit in and I want them to think outside that box, without causing trouble.

Mom loves to tell the story of my brother Rob's first day of kindergarten. The teacher gave each of the kids a picture of a ladybug and told them to color it. Rob and another little boy (who became his BFF) refused to color the "lady" bugs and wanted to color boy bugs. Rob struggled all through school, but is now a teacher. (A very creative teacher by the way).

I hope that I can find a balance with the kids and they can understand when and where to use their creativity.

Any advice???

Monday, January 11, 2010

More from Girls Night

Check out Tiff's Not Me Monday post about Girls night. Click HERE.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Girls Night

Girls Night was a blast.....as always! This was our 4th annual trip to Birch Bay with this group of gals. We call ourselves the BB girls, because we go to Birch Bay for our girls night. I love this group of friends and family and the fact that we all get along so well. They are a loving, caring group.....that I can not trust!! I take that back, I can trust them with secrets, and also trust they will keep a secret from me. This is the same group that LOVES to play tricks on each other. They got me while we were camping this past year, and decided to get me again at girls night. Because Friday was my birthday, I asked that they not make girls night about my birthday, and no gifts. They all decided to play a trick on me, and did a gift exchange anyways, and embarrassed me royally. I should have known they would do something for my birthday, since this is the same group that planned my 30th surprise birthday party.
So, note to self, don't plan girls night on my birthday again, and start planning revenge!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Getting Excited!

I'm really excited for Girls Night tomorrow. Once a year I get my close girlfriends together and we go to the condo in Birch Bay for an overnighter. It's a fun tradition that has made many fun memories. We stay up late, eat 6 pounds of gummy bears and other junk food, and talk and giggle until the wee hours of the morning. I would love to tell you more details but, what's said at girls night, stays at girls night!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Auntie and Drew




Baby Drew is 1 today! Here's a look back at my favorite Auntie and Drew pictures.....I think he likes me!

Tasty Tuesdays

Wow, it's been forever since I have done Tasty Tuesdays. It's been a crazy holiday season with me hosting Thanksgiving, two Christmas's and New Years. Things are settling back to normal, finally!

Yesterday I went to help out my sister in law Tiffani who was having one of her poop/pee everywhere kind of days. Click HERE to read her blog. I grabbed a freezer meal on my way out the door, and we heated it up for lunch. My niece Emma was asking what was in it and Tiffani called the pasta sticks. Then I told her that there were leaves (spinach) in it too. We ended up naming the dish Sticks, Leaves and Cheese. It's pretty tasty!


Sticks, Leaves and Cheese

2 (10 0z) packages frozen chopped spinach, cooked and drained
15 oz container cottage cheese
3 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
16 oz package penne pasta, cooked
26 oz jar spaghetti sauce
2 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper
16 oz shredded mozzarella cheese

Combine spinach, cottage cheese, eggs, Parmesan, salt and pepper, set aside. Combine pasta with spaghetti sauce and oregano, place half of the pasta mix in an ungreased 9x 13 pan. Layer with spinach mixture and half the mozzarella. Add remaining pasta and top with mozzarella. Cover with foil and bak at 375 for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake another 10 minutes. Serves 6-8

To use as a freezer meal, cook as directed, then cover and freeze. Thaw frozen meal, then reheat at 375 for 30 minutes.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year!

We had a great New Years Eve spent with friends. We celebrate East Coast time, so we watch the ball drop in New York, scream Happy New Year, and everyone goes to bed early!

I'm not one to make resolutions, but I do think it's important to have goals and purpose. While so many things (health problems) are out of my hands, I hope that by having purpose I can better determine how this next year will go. In the past I have always been optimistic of the coming year, but this year I have deep fears of what is to come. Since I'm such a control freak, I need to remember that God is in control and his plan is better than mine. Here's just a few of my goals for 2010.

  • Slow down and enjoy the kids more. While life is always crazy, my kids will never be 9 and 6 again.
  • Spend more time with my Grandparents.
  • Be more financially responsible.
  • Take better care of my own health, so that I can take better care of my family.
  • Lean on God more and my own strength less.
Wishing you all many blessings in 2010!