Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008 in review

I thought I'd put together a short photo compilation of 2008. I tried to narrow it to one photo for each month, but January had a lot of special times so there are several photos from January.


A big boy turns 4.

Precious new life began.




Growing . . .


Last major snow of the season.




Turning 2.


T-ball Season




Fun times!


That precious new life is with us now!


Afternoon at the park


First 'real' haircut.



Monday, December 29, 2008

Recycling tip

Since my trash collection company started a new and much better recycling program a few months ago, I have been having the issue of making a zillion trips into the garage to dump items in the cart.

I originally had a plastic grocery bag hanging on the pantry door and would just place items in there until it was full and then I would take it out and dump it. However, this wasn't working extremely well because the pantry door is on a 90ยบ angle to the right of the garage door. This made the garage door collide with the plastic bag full of things each time it was opened, thus creating clanging and banging and just an annoyance.

I realized something had to be done and started scouring the house for an alternative and came across a plastic bag/bin thingy that I was using for as a temporary home for paperwork and other things that needed to find their way to their home upstairs in the filing cabinet.

This is what my trash area looks like now. The orange container is the recycling and I now only make 1 or 2 trips into the garage to dump it each day. It's working really well and even the boys are getting the hang of it and learning what can be recycled!
Be sure to stop by over at Tammy's for more wonderful tips.

I'm still around.

Yep, I'm still here. Sorry I haven't posted in a while. We had Michael's dad and step-mom visiting from Australia all week.

Also, we've all had a very nasty cold that turned into sinus infections for Jacob and me. I'm feeling a bit better and trying to tough it out with only the humidifier, lots of water and tylenol - because of breastfeeding. But, poor Jacob seems to feel extra horrible. He has a sinus headache, earache, congestion in head and chest and several other things hurt - and he's had a fever (which I never had). He has an appointment to see the pediatrician this morning - hmmm, now that I think about it, maybe it's the flu..... ICK. I'm going to have Rachael weighed while we're there - I have NO CLUE how much she weighs, not even a guess.

We did have a wonderful Christmas (especially since Michael got to spend time with his dad, whom he only gets to see once a year) and the boys absolutely loved getting to spend time with grandma and papa!! I enjoyed the time to visit and fellowship, as well.

I'm hoping to get a Christmas post up this week and I have a Kitchen Tip coming tomorrow.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Banana bread

Kimi at The Nourishing Gourmet is hosting a great carnival today - Nourishing Sweets and Treats!! The idea is to post a recipe you enjoy that uses wholesome/natural sweeteners.

I have a wonderful banana bread recipe that uses wonderful ingredients, in fact I altered the recipe a little more today and it turned out wonderfully!

Banana Bread:
Preheat oven to 350°
1/4 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
1 c. sugar *
3-5 ripe bananas
2 eggs
1/2 c. butter, softened
2 c. flour **
1/2 c. chopped walnuts (optional)

Stir dry ingredients together. Mash bananas and add to dry mixture, mix well. Beat eggs with fork until frothy, then add to mixture. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Pour into a buttered loaf pan. I suggest a 9" pan because an 8" pan just might over flow and who wants to clean that mess....

Bake for approximately 1 hour. (Check at 50 minutes and add time accordingly). Cool for 10-15 minutes before turning onto a rack. I was in a hurry today and didn't let it cool in the pan long enough and the bottom stuck, that's why there aren't any photos..... Total cooling time before slicing should be appx. 1 hour.

* I use Rapadura (evaporated cane juice). I'm fortunate enough to have a wonderful grocery store (King Soopers, in the Kroger family) that actually carries a less expensive brand than Whole Foods.
** Today I used 1/2 c. of oat flour and 1 1/2 c. of hard white wheat.

It was definitely not a relaxing weekend.

Eli has just about sent us all to the crazy-house this weekend.

Here's a short recap of his shenanigans:

* Saturday - he really, REALLY, really needed a nap (he still naps daily) and there was a birthday party to go to in the evening at Pump It Up. We wanted him to be well rested. HA! Big fat HA! He never went to sleep after spending 2 hours in his room, being disciplined countless times and I even (gasp) laid down with him for about 30 minutes. NOTHING. So, he was told he would be staying home with daddy and Jacob, Rachael and I would be going to the party. Then the crying commenced.

So, I came down and about 10 minutes later Michael went up to get him and he had pooped in his diaper and stuck his hand in it..... Then he proceeded to try to wipe it off - on his fan, on the gate, on the door, on his shirt - ICK! Michael brought him out and called for me to come help. We got the bulk of it cleaned off and then stuck him in the shower and he got a good scrubbing.

* Sunday - all was well with the world until just before dinner time. Eli was upstairs playing in his room. Rachael was napping. Jacob and Michael were watching something and I was getting dinner ready. Michael went upstairs to check on Eli because he thought he heard water running - (we keep all the other upstairs doors closed and they have those 'childproof'-lock-things on them). Turns out, Eli has figured out how to open the childproof door knobs.... The next thing I hear is Michael asking me if I smell toothpaste!

Eli had emptied the rest (about half) of their tube of toothpaste in various places around the bathroom and it looked liked he'd eaten quite a bit as well. However, he knew he had made a mess and had started trying to clean it up. He's genius! He got the hand towel down and couldn't really reach the sink knobs so he turned the bath water on and wet his towel and was trying to clean the floor with it (dripping wet). So, Michael disciplined him for messing with the toothpaste and got him all cleaned up while I finished dinner.

The bathroom door is now locked and closed (along with our bedroom door - where there is another bathroom)! It's pretty easy for an adult to unlock with the correct 'tool'. You need something flat like a screwdriver, coin, butter knife, etc. to turn the center of the outside of the doorknob. So, the only other door upstairs (besides the boys') that cannot be locked, is Rachael's.... This boy definitely keeps us on our toes - Jacob would never dream of doing anything so crazy - even when he was 2!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

She's just so cute!

Rachael turned 3 months on Friday!! She's just growing so fast, I'm trying to savor as much as I can.

She giggles all the time and is so incredibly happy, I love it!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Monday, December 8, 2008

Rachael giggling!

I had Rachael sitting on my legs today while I was on the couch. She sneezed and I said "bless you" and she just started giggling! So, I continued saying it over and over and she just kept going!

Sorry for the video quality, it was taken on my phone.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Friday was my birthday and we decided to wait until Saturday to do anything. We had already planned on the boys attending a MOPS parent's day out event at church, so it seemed like a perfect time to have a quiet meal together. I'm not ready to leave Rachael for long periods of time yet, so we took her along with us. Let me just say right now, she is a wonderful baby! Very laid back!

We dropped the boys off at church at 9:00 and then headed to Mardel and Super Target for some shopping.

We then came home for about 45 minutes so we could drop off our purchases, move the stash of unwrapped gifts I had hidden in the garage to our closet and feed Rachael.

Then we headed to a nice, long, quiet lunch at On the Border. When we lived in Oklahoma we got ourselves totally hooked on mexican food. Then we were VERY disappointed when we moved to Colorado and found the mexican food to be sub-par at best. On the Border would not be our choice if we still lived in Oklahoma, but since it's the closest thing here to what we enjoyed in Oklahoma, it's where we go if we need a fix!

While we were at the restaurant, Rachael started to get a little cranky because she had been in her carseat too long. I took her out and held her for a while, but as it started getting close to time for her to nap, she started getting a little cranky again because she wanted to be put down. This is what I devised to get her to nap (the carseat wouldn't have worked)......

I put her down and it took her about 5 minutes to fall asleep - there was no crying or squirming or anything - and there was some LOUD mexican music playing!!! She then slept there for about 45 minutes while we finished our meal at a leisurely pace!

Then it was time to go get the boys.

They were having quiet story time when we got there because it was just after lunch and everyone was relaxing on the floor on pillows and blankets. They all looked so comfy and relaxed!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas photos with outtakes!

We went to Sears to have our annual family/Christmas photos made yesterday and it actually went much more smoothly than I anticipated. Usually someone melts down just a little bit into the session, but this time, they all held up pretty well!!
This is the photo we chose to use for our cards. Everyone looks pretty good in this one and it was actually the first photo taken!!

Now, here are a few of the not-so-good ones:
Jacob being a goofball and having a cheesy grin!

Rachael looks like she's about to fall over in this one!

And Eli being himself!!

I'm participating in DesignHerMomma's outtake carnival, so hop on over and check out the others!