Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday's Fave Five #19

Read more entries over at

Living To Tell The Story

1. My mom has been on her summer "vacation" (she won't call it a break) for the last two weeks so she spent some time here to hang out, see the boys and allow me to go to my doctor's appointments. She watched Andrew one day and both boys the other day, AND let me use her car! Such a blessing. Here's her with the boys.

One of my appointments was with a dentist after (gulp) seven years. Good news: no cavities and my teeth are healthy. Bad news: I need my wisdom teeth out. EEK!

2. Mom also took us to get Andrew's hair cut, followed by a trip to Starbucks--such a treat! Here's his new 'do!

3. The end of swimming lessons. I'm actually sad that we won't be going anymore but glad that Andrew is a much better swimmer now and able to navigate the pool without wings. He loves his freedom!!! He's doing really well and is terribly proud.

4. An impromptu visit from my dad when he was on my side of town for a paint job. I made us lunch and he got to hold Ethan. I found out later that my mom was happy to have the extra time at home to get her projects done, so it was a win-win for everyone. Here's Ethan smiling up at him!

5. Ethan getting more and more active and alert. He's been kicking like crazy and loved getting his feet high and kicking these toys. He even made the zebra spin so the music would play!

When he smiles up at me like this, it just melts my heart! And he does this a LOT.

I am a blessed woman!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday's Fave Five #18

Read more entries over at

Living To Tell The Story

To preface this, I am feeling much more like myself these days and finally have my appetite back, so you'll see a lot of food mentioned! :)

1. My dear friend Jen had her baby and we got to meet him over the weekend! He's so tiny and looks just like his mommy! He makes our lil' guy look HUGE! This is me holding him. I love newborns!

2. I finally got back to my weekly menu planning and shopping and made some pretty good meals this week, including this. I did pulled pork in the crock pot (just used root bear!) with peas and oven fries. They're plain steak fries but I added some seasoning--yum!! The sauce on the meat is from our favorite BBQ restaurant in Florida--my folks brought it back for us on their recent trip.

For lunch, I'm loving SMOOTHIES!! I have one almost every day and it's great because I can add flax seed and protein powder, plus get my daily dose of milk, yogurt and fruit in one drink! They're so refreshing in this heat, too.

3. Beating the 115-degree heat. I dumped out Andrew's sand box and filled it with water for him to use as a "pool" and he loves it!

4. I'm trying to cut waaaay back on sugar but I don't want to deprive myself I treat myself to Bryer's Fresh and Dreamy ice cream (half the fat!) with fruit on top almost every night. Yes, I sometimes add a crumbled cookie and chocolate syrup!

5. I can't let a Friday go by without mentioning our "angel baby." This boy is so happy, so laid back and so much FUN! He's cooing and smiling at EVERYone and gets more active and more alert every day. He just melts my heart!

He's two months old now and just starting to get interested in toys. It's so much fun to "play" with him!

I hope you all had many things to be thankful for this week, too! We are blessed!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

To check out lots of wonderful menus and recipes, check out Menu Plan Monday on
I'm An Organizing Junkie

Simple Mom is also covering Menu Planning today and has great tips and tools

In an effort to be the best mom and wife I can be, I am trying to get back to making a weekly menu for our family. With my hubby recently starting Atkins, I'm "on my own" for dinner, aside from the meat he can also have. I want to start going more vegetarian and using more whole foods, but for this week, I stuck with tried and true favorites. I'll enjoy stealing other people's ideas, though!

Here goes!

Breakfasts: oatmeal, cereal, fruit, yogurt with granola

Lunches: tuna salad wrap, turkey sandwiches, smoothies, pbjs

Snacks: hummus with carrots, almonds, apple with peanut butter, raisins

Dinners (recipes appear below):

Monday: taco soup

Tuesday: hot dogs, veggies and beans

Wednesday: roast in the crock pot with carrots and potatoes

Thursday: pulled pork sandwiches, fries and veggies

Friday: pizza and salad

Saturday: (vegetarian) pasta with sauce and mushrooms

Sunday: leftovers


1. taco soup
Put into slow cooker on low for 5 hours or high for 3-ish hours:
* 1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained
* 1 packet taco seasoning mix
* 3 cans of the beans of your choice, with liquid (I prefer black, kidney and pinto).
* 1-2 cans of diced tomatoes, with liquid (you can use the ones with green chilis to add a little kick)
* 1 can corn, with liquid, if desired
* 1 cup of water, or more if you like it more liquidy
TOP with cheese and sour cream. You can also put tortilla chips in the bottom of your bowl, or crumble them on top.

2. roast in the crock pot
Put in crock pot on high for about 4 hours.
* 1 lb. roast, seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder
* small bag of baby carrots
* 3-4 potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
* 2-3 cups of water
* 1 onion, cut up

3. pulled pork sandwiches
Put in crock pot on high for at least 5 hours.
* 1 lb. pork tenderloin, butt or shoulder, seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
* enough beer or rootbeer to cover it
Once it's able to be shredded with a fork, remove and shred.
Dump water out of crock pot.
Add the sauce of your choice to the meat and place back in crock pot for about an hour.
Serve on buns.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Girls' Night In

Now that I am emerging from my postpartum fog (I call it a "milky haze"), I am trying to get back down to the business of taking care of the people around me. My love language to others is giving gifts and with us on a budget, I don't get to do it very often. But I felt led to do this for a dear friend who has been such a wonderful encouragement to me for the last several months.

She is due with a baby boy any day now and her sister and mother are in town for a visit, and hopefully to meet the baby. I thought it would be fun to create a "girls' night in" bag so I assembled this at the store and gave it to her this morning.

I got some Crunch N Munch, "Maid in Manhatten," some good candy, a facial mask, a nail buffer, nail polish and some cute nail decals. They can pop the movie in, enjoy some snacks, have a facial and paint their nails--soooo girly!

I hope it blesses them--I know I had fun putting it together! Just thought I'd throw it out there in case you thought of someone who would enjoy something similar. It's always fun to surprise someone with goodies!

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Nothing exciting to report from the holiday weekend. We stayed home and relaxed, basically. Got a few cute shots of the fam, though!

Drew doesn't think there's a resemblance. HA! Puh-leez.

Happy baby, smiling at his brother.

Brother love.

Andrew painting.

Beautiful Arizona sky over our house Friday night, followed by a marvelous thunderstorm!

And that's about it from here! Just wanted you to know I'm still here! :)

In the way of an update, we are thoroughly enjoying this time of life with our new baby boy. We almost don't have a choice--it's upwards of 109 degrees here during the day so we stay in the house a lot, trying to pass the time. If we go anywhere, it's to an air conditioned store or a pool!

I am finally feeling more normal and am working hard at staying as healthy as possible. Plus I'm always trying to get enough sleep, of course! No crafting to speak of...I do miss it! I am trying to just relax in this season, and enjoy time with my family. I know Ethan won't stay a newborn forever and life will get more active soon! For now, it's nice to just slooooow doooown.

Thanks for checking in!