Friday, April 29, 2011

Baby Kisses

Oh my goodness are those slobbery baby kisses delightful. Dawson has exploded my heart with his incredible smile and twinkly eyes. He often grabs my hair and kisses me. Anytime I make eye contact with him, he smiles. I love his fat little bum and chunky tummy. Take a look at some pictures of this handsome fella.








Monday, April 25, 2011

RRRROARRRR!


Ollie enjoyed R. Mostly because of how I explained the sound. R is for ROAR! Ollie loves to roar. I mean who wouldn't? A lion roars, a tiger roars and a dinosaur most definitely roars!

We started the week by gluing red tissue paper onto the R. He really liked cutting the tissue paper more than gluing it. I did manage to get him to put a few pieces on!

He did really enjoy the second activity. We got a few big rocks from the
yard, cleaned them and then painted them. Ollie loves to paint. It was a
really fun activity. He then gave them to Bob for his birthday. I am not so sure the rocks have made it to Bob's work desk yet.


This week worked out pretty well considering the Resurrection is celebrated this week too! We managed to learn a a really cool verse--He is not here, he has risen just as he said. Ollie is amazing at learning the verses and because of him, I am learning them, too! We also managed to squeeze in an Easter party with resurrection eggs, rolls and an Easter egg hunt as well as church and dinner with our family and a few friends.

Our last activity involved round and rectangle. I showed Ollie a construction paper circle and a rectangle. We talked about round and rectangle. Then Ollie organized a pile of objects into those categories. He did really well and enjoyed it.





Oh and I forgot. We made some oatmeal raisin cookies.
and did some reading...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

So I had all these ideas of the pictures I would take today and whatnot. But that didn't happen. Instead, I didn't get pictures before church then Dawson slept all the way through dinner. Meanwhile, Ollie spilled egg dye all over his clothes. So that was a disaster.

It's a good thing that Easter isn't about that. It is about our Savior who was perfect and blameless but was beaten and killed on the cross for MY sin. Then, after all of that, he conquered death and proved to the world that he was who he said he was. Amazing! Thank you Jesus. My prayer now is that any of those I love would also see their need for a Savior and give their lives to Him. If Jesus isn't your Lord and you want to make Him your Lord, I would be happy to talk to you! The band at our church did this song today. I used to love when Bob and his team would do it. It is such a powerful song!



Monday, April 18, 2011

Happy Birthday to the Love of My Life!



Today, my love turns 31. We have known each other for 10 1/2 years, been together for 9 1/2 of those and been married for almost 7. He is a wonderful man and I am richly blessed. Here are the top ten reasons I am glad I married him! Ok so I confess, I started this post yesterday but alas it is now the day after his birthday. I was busy making him his birthday dinner. He requested Orange Chicken and Triple Chocolate mousse cake. Both are fabulous but the cake takes a lot of time. Not to mention my littlest Gray decided to wake every hour and a half the night before so I took advantage of the fact that Nana had Ollie and I took a nap! This put me completely behind but it was amazing.

10. He likes my food but he can't cook. Bob loves to eat and says I am the best cook he knows. This suits me because I love to cook and I really don't like to share my kitchen (at least not on a regular basis).

9. He is very good with finances. Bob is a marvelous money manager. The first two years of marriage we paid off 35,000 in debt. We then saved a lot of money for a car and emergency savings. Because of this, I am able to stay home full time and we were able to sell our house and move without having a job lined up here.

8. He is driven. Bob taught himself to play guitar. He talk himself coldfusion, javascript, PHP. Yes. Some of you have no idea what I am talking about. When he puts his mind to something, he does it. He can learn things that most of us need someone to teach us. I think he is pretty dang smart.

7. He is a talented carpenter.He has made us a cherry sleigh bed, a beautiful book shelf and a desk. It helps that his father is a talented carpenter too!

6. He has a great sense of humor. He is constantly making me laugh. We have all kinds of inside jokes. Often the jokes are similar to middle school students but hey we have fun!

5. He's a sexy guy! I think my husband is absolutely the sexiest man on earth and I know some of you are rolling your eyes but really would I have married him if I didn't think so?

4. He is awesome on guitar and a great. I love when Bob sings and plays guitar. He taught himself in college after attending a Dave Matthews band concert. He has since written several songs, taught guitar lessons and lead praise and worship at our church in NC. I always feel like God knows who to match with who because I think there is nothing sexier than a man to plays guitars and sings songs about Jesus unashamedly.

3. He is a fabulous father. Bob loves his kids. He wants to be the very best father he can be. He is playful and loving!

2. He is an excellent husband. Bob is a very caring man. He cares what I think and what I feel. He wants me to do what my heart desires. I've never met anyone like him. He is there for me when I need him. He reassures me and helps ease my anxiety. I always tell him I am glad I married him and I am 100% of the time!

1. He loves Jesus! There is no better quality in a husband than a heart for the Lord. Bob loves the Lord and strives to please him. Being humble before the Lord makes Bob an incredible guy! So as you can see I LOVE MY HUSBAND! I am very blessed. I love you Bob! Happy 31st birthday even if it is a day late!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Never too young

We are never too young to hide God's word in our hearts. Ollie has amazed me with his ability to memorize scripture. We started this recently after a friend of mine talked about how she had been working on them with her two year old daughter. I was skeptical at first but I thought I'd give it a go. I have to laugh at "obey your mother." Bob says that to Ollie all the time and I cannot get him to say parents consistently. He also doesn't know where they are found and he gets confused at times but I think he is doing excellent!

video

Monday, April 11, 2011

Homemade Baby Food



So about a week ago, I wrote a blog about freezer meals. It seems that this blog was well received so I thought what the hey, I'll let you see a few more of my domestic musings. I am into making my own baby food. I am slightly anal about what goes into my children's mouths. Now not to say my kid doesn't get his fair share of fruit snacks, I am just saying. So from the very beginning, I try to give my kids what I feel is best. I breastfeed and I make my own baby food. i am not saying babies feed formula are somehow unhealthy. I do what I feel is best for my kids, you do the same.

A couple of reasons I make my own baby food:
1. I know exactly what is in it. I know they can only put the fruit or veggie and water or so they say. But I didn't see what that veggie looked like before it went into that plastic container & once it's in that plastic container, it lives forever. There is something wrong with that. It surely cannot be as nutritious in that form.

2. I make it with my milk in it. This makes the transition easy. It has a familiar flavor to it and a little extra nutrients!

3. It's the stuff we eat. When Dawson transitions to our table food, it is the exact same fruits and vegetables we eat. I buy fresh or frozen and that is exactly what he is getting. Ollie moved easily
to our food. Score!

Now on to making your own fabulous baby food. You need a few things: a blender, ice cube trays
and some baggies. I choose to use the blender because I think it does a better job than my food processor. Also, I can clean it easier. You can buy baby food making kits but I think they are a
waste of money, especially if you don't know if you will want to continue to do it.

If is has a peel, I peel it. I cook the fruit or veggie first. Sometimes, it comes in the form of leftovers off our table. I let them cool and then put the veggies and about 3 oz of breast milk in the blender. You can most certainly use water. I continue to add liquid until it blends easily and is nice and smooth. I then pour it into ice cube trays and freeze it. Once solid, I label a baggy with the contents and date, pop out the cubes, place them in the bag and put the bag in the freezer.

To heat them, I do a double boiler method. I place a small glass bowl inside a small pan with a bit of boiling water in it. If you do use breast milk, you cannot microwave it or it breaks down the
proteins. Also, do not use breast milk that has been frozen previously just like you can thaw and refreeze meat.
I use a chart on www.wholesomebabyfood.com to determine what to give when. It also has some recipes to try.





Doesn't he look like a happy, healthy baby?

Q- An O with a line in it!


Q posed a few challenges. Like "What in the world do we do for Q?" and "How do you think we make a quetzal?"When the week poses extra challenges, I look outside my messy brain and to more clear directions and templates! Check out DLTK's site. Ollie liked Q though because it's an O with a line through it.

So we started this week bymaking a Q into a quarterback. I
don't think Ollie really got it. The placement of the pieces did not really look like what the picture looked like but then
again does anything a two year old does look like what the rest of the world would deem as correct?


We also used a template to make a quetzal. I think his quetzal is kinda cute with the
disconnected legs and upside down wing. I think he likes his head in the center of his chest. Ollie has known what a quetzal was for a really long time. I think before he was 2. Because before he was a dinosaur maniac, he was animal crazy.

Our Bible verse this week was Luke 19:40, "I tell you," he replied. "If they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." Ollie is a memory
verse whiz kid. He has several memorized and it is amazing. I promise I will video tape him saying them...if he will cooperate! Anyway, he glued construction paper stones to a piece of paper gave them eyes and speech bubbles that said things like, "God rocks."

Finally we made a "quilt." Ollie and I used my slicer dealy to cut squares and triangles. He then glued them to paper.


Looking back on this week, I can see why today he did not want to do any gluing. The entire week was gluing. Poor kid. I promise R will be more fun buddy!

Dance Baby, Dance!

We seem to have another music lover in the house! Bob was jamming on his guitar and Dawson slammed himself back trying to stand up and dance. (Don't worry Dawson, he makes me feel that way, too:-). Nana helped him to his feet and Dawson had a great time dancing. Take a look!

video

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Freezer Meals

Being a SAHM (stay at home mom) is a lot of work! I am the first to admit that many things slide because I am busy playing and loving on my boys. Unfortunately, one thing that can't slip is eating. I have found a way to be sure we eat and save myself a ton of time and money. How do I
do this? FREEZER MEALS! I was recently talking to a friend about my freezer meals and she said, "Why don't you blog about that?" So here it is. I am going to tell you about my recent
adventures with preparing meals in advance.

To get started you really need a few things. Mostly, you need containers. My favorite for casseroles are these:
I love these because they are actually plastic and can be used in the oven! Plus they have lids. They can go from fridge to freezer to oven. They are fabulous and about $4.50 for two. Considering you can reuse them they are well worth the four dollars and fifty cents. I also use the disposable tin ones but I really prefer the Glad ones.

My other necessity is this:
I can honestly say that I would have never bought a vacuum sealer for myself. I received it from my brother-in-law for Christmas. Initially, I was like "What am I going to do with this?" Now I can say EVERYTHING!

My biggest tip for creating freezer meals is that you never make only one of anything! Plus if you are chopping something and it can go in multiple things, chop it all and either make the other items or put the leftover into a baggy. If you don't like to spend 3 or 4 hours preparing meals, you may be better served to make doubles as you cook throughout the week. What I mean is that when you are making a shepherd's pie for dinner make two instead. It is no more work than making one.
Currently, my freezer contains a baked ziti, 2 Mexican Ravioli Casseroles, 2 Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Casseroles, 8 hamburger patties, meatballs, and chicken umpteen different ways. And the funny thing is that that was easier than cooking every night. And do you know what is even easier? Not cooking every night! I just pull something out and pop it in the oven!
So my most recent escapade involved 20 lbs of chicken. Yes, 20 lbs of boneless skinless chicken breasts. That is a lot of chicken. Fareway had it for 1.78/lb but you had to buy it in 10lb bundles. Since I have a vacuum sealer this was a win win! It's funny how one thing leads to another. For example, I started by chopping cilantro to make my fajita marinade. After I completed the marinade, I had lots of cilantro so I chopped my green onion and started on my Mexican Ravioli casseroles. Those took all of 10 minutes & I moved on to chopping my peppers and creating my fajitas packets. I made 2 veggies and 2 of the chicken.
After sucking the air from them, labeling them and throwing them in the freezer, I went about trimming and seasoning 8 more breasts and putting them by twos into freezer. So this ends day 1 of chicken. My first 10lbs!

The next 10lbs became orange chicken, chicken strips, broccoli chicken casseroles, chicken stock, and two packs of prepped and ready for stir fry or orange chicken. The great thing about having all this chicken was that when I realized that I had no chicken broth, I just threw 3 breasts into a pan with some veggies and made some. Then I took that same chicken, shredded it and put it into my broccoli chicken casseroles.

My freezer meals have come in handy for more than just saving me prep time. We have also been able to bless other people in need of a meal. We recently had a family in our church who needed the night away from the stove so I dropped off a casserole without ever having to head to the grocery store or prepare it.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

P is for PIZZA!


Yum! P was a fun letter. Once again P has lots of possibilities. We did a lot of things this week. Whew! We started the week with popcorn and the letter P. I popped some popcorn and handed him a glue stick and a construction paper P. Most of the popcorn landed in his sweet little mouth but that's ok and few got onto the P.

Next we made a peacock. I found a really neat feather deal at our local Hobby Lobby. Originally
I was going to have himmake a 2-dimensional peacock on a piece of
construction paper but then I remembered the oodles of egg cartons I had. So, my 2-d peacock became a 3-d peacock that slightly resembles a turkey. He still goes to the window sill and picks it up and wanders around with it. I think it turned out pretty cool.

Our next project was to make playdoh. Ollie loves to measure and
pour and stir so he did a fabulous job mixing it together. He kept
telling me he wanted brown playdoh. Weird, but ok I guess. This worked out pretty well considering he wanted to put every color into the mix. I then put it on the stove and walked away. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. It turned out ok. Green and lumpy but Ollie still loved it.



This weeks Bible verse came from Psalm 63:4, I will praise you as long as I live. Ollie and I
traced and cut out his sweet little hands and pasted them on a paper in praise position! I pray
that he does praise God as long as he lives. Because He is worthy of our praise.



Finally, our grande finale was da..da..da..a PIZZA! I made a crust and had Ollie help put on
cheese and pepperoni. I love how he just dumped the entire bag of cheese on the center and then
began to pick it up and shove it into his mouth. Most of the pepperonis he took out of the container also landed in his mouth. It was adorable.

It seems that something has clicked with Ollie. He can suddenly identify many of the letters and their sounds. Maybe he knew them the whole time. I don't know but it is nice to see some fruit for our effort.

Blessings


I just got back from a trip. A wonderful trip that dreams are made of? Did I go to Paris? Rome? Bangkok perhaps? No. I went to Trimont.

"Trimont? you may say. "Why, I've never heard of it."

No. You may not have. But it really is a wonderful place. I love it there. It's where my mom and dad live. On Tuesday night, I decided that Ollie, Dawson and I would take our first trip there without Bob. So on Wednesday night, we packed
the car and me and my boys headed north. The trip there was uneventful. I pulled out of my driveway
around 6:25 and both boys were sound asleep by 6:45. Ah. Peace!

I pulled up to my "home" at 9:45. Dad helped me unload and then I spent the next 4 days
relaxing a hanging out with my family. I don't take this time for granted. I spent the last 7 years of my life away from these people and now I must take in every. single. moment. I sit back and watch my mom snuggle with Ollie and Dawson. I watch my Dad read Ollie book thick books on dinosaurs and animals. I watch my mom play car and read The Cat in the Hat. I watch my Dad chase Ollie around the house or dance with Dawson. I watch
my two gorgeous nieces play with Ollie and Dawson and my sister hug and kiss my boys. I watch my Grandpa hold them and read to Ollie. And every moment is a blessing. It fills me with joy and makes me feel like I could explode at any moment. You just never know when this could end so I am not going to take it for granted. I am going to soak up this radiance that comes from the love of my family. I am going to enjoy every moment. I really love my family! They are the best!