Friday, May 28, 2010

Moving on up!

Colin had his last day of preschool this week. All year they have been talking about their graduation day which would include a swim party with cake and ice cream. He's been talking about the swim party for weeks now and when the day came I knew it would be so freezing cold! But the kids swam anyway. He had a great time. I am so grateful for his teacher this year. She was so patient and loving and kind towards him. Colin was not always the easiest kid at school for her but she never gave up on him. I love the way she encouraged him and how much he learned in her class. More than learning colors, numbers, shapes, letters, I am glad he learned how to control his temper a little better, how to follow rules and get along with other kids. I'm so glad for good teachers who do for my children what I can't. Here is a little video of his graduation program.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Cranberry (or Apricot) Chicken Recipe

I've had 2 requests for this recipe. It's so easy and very tasty. It came from a cookbook called "Don't Panic...Dinner's in the Freezer." You can make this sauce ahead of time, put it in a freezer bag with the chicken, freeze it and then use it another day. This is also one of those recipes you can mix up in the morning and keep in the fridge and the pop it in the oven when it's time to cook. I love doing that - it makes dinner time so much easier. The Apricot Chicken was a recipe my sister gave me. I don't know which one I like better. Sometimes I want the sweet apricot, other times the tangy cranberry. So here it is:

Cranberry (or Apricot) Chicken

1 envelope onion soup mix
1 can Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce (or for Apricot Chicken substitute 1 cup apricot jam)
1 cup Catalina dressing
(for Apricot chicken add a can of pineapple chunks, drained)

Mix above ingredients in a small bowl. Cut up 1 pound chicken (or more if you have a bigger crowd to feed) into bite sized pieces. Place in a baking dish. Add the sauce and mix together. Bake, covered at 350 for 30 minutes. Stir and remove cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Serve over hot cooked rice.

I always serve this dish with green beans and chocolate milk for some odd reason.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Look at what I got!!

I went grocery shopping today like I do every Monday. As I was walking around the store I noticed 2 women shopping together. I always like to see what people buy at the store. I think what you have in your grocery cart tells a lot about you. My cart would say I go shopping once a week, I have boys who like cereal and drink a lot of milk, who love apples and cheese. My cart says I like to cook and I cook dinner almost every night for my family. So I look in the cart of these two women and I see things like Raman noodles (I think the last time I bought those I was in college), 4 bottles of ketchup, some cereal, a carton of juice, a half gallon of milk (seriously, that's all the milk you needed?). Then one girl says to the other, "I can't wait to see how much you spend. And you'll have to take a picture and put it on your blog." So it made sense. They were shopping with coupons, trying to save more than they spend. And that's all good. I think it's great that women take the time to go to different stores, to buy just what's on sale and just what they have coupons for, to save a ton of money. But I just don't like doing that. I like buying what I want to buy when I want to buy it. I don't go crazy. I'm not a crazy shopper who spends tons of money. But I do have a family I need to feed and I think I do a pretty good job. I've seen the pictures where people will show what they bought at the store and then say they spent $10 but saved $50. Woo Hoo!! That's great. But I always look at those pictures and think, "But what are you possibly going to make for dinner with that?" Who knows, maybe they have a freezer in the garage full of stuff, a pantry overflowing with food storage. But so do I. I just think if you're going to take a picture of your groceries then you also have to share what you're cooking for dinner that week. Because I'm curious. So here's my stuff and my dinner menu for the week (and yes, this is all I need for a the week, I will not be going to another store this week for anything else, because I've got it all here.)

Items bought - 74 (including non-food items like deodorant & diapers)

Amount Spent - $125.84 (each week I spend between $100 and $130 on everything. Sometimes I will go to Target for household items, but I usually just go to Smiths and get it all)

Amount saved - $30.51 (from using my Fresh Values card, no coupons!)

What I'll make for dinner this week - mac and cheese (homemade, not the box) with roasted broccoli and fruit; Cranberry Chicken with rice and green beans and chocolate cobbler for dessert (yes, I said chocolate cobbler); shredded pork tacos with black bean salsa and Spanish rice; breakfast burritos (I try and do breakfast for dinner once a week); meatloaf with mashed potatoes, rolls, gravy and some kind of veggie.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Take a closer look

What is it about looking into a pair of eyes? I mean really looking? Isn't there a saying that the eyes are a window to the soul? I don't know what it is, but I love (LOVE) looking into my kids' eyes. It all started with Trevor as a baby and the way people would comment on how blue his eyes were. His eyes always stood out and he'd get lots of compliments. So it made me want to look even more. Then came Colin and even though his eyes are blue too, they are not like Trevor's. They are different and when you look into them you see something different. And Logan - sweet Logan with his one eye that is 2 different colors. At first I was the only one who could see it, but now it's something I point out to people when they see him. When I look into their eyes, though, I see them in a different way. It's like you really can see inside of them a little more, into what they may be thinking or feeling. I feel a little more connected, a little closer to them when I look right into their eyes. Every now and then I'll say to one of them, "Come here, I want to look into your eyes." I love that moment. They will come over and smile and let me look. And in that little moment I feel like I know them a little better than before.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Colin turned 5 last week. Dave always says Colin is a very interesting child. He has his own unique style of doing things, but at the same time I can see how he looks up to
others and the way they influence him. Colin is influenced by Trevor in the way he uses his imagination and in the way he plays. Sometimes those two play so well together because they are very in sync with one another and what the other is thinking. Colin is influenced by Dave in his interest in art. Colin loves to ask Dave to draw things for him and then Colin will try and draw it himself later. There are times when Colin has seen something Dave did and he's tried to copy it. Colin loves whatever his dad loves: computer games, drawing, TV shows or movies. I think Colin is more like Dave than he thinks. I have seen some of the pictures of Dave as a child and he looks pretty interesting himself. If you've seen Colin lately you will see that he loves bracelets. He wears about ten at a time, most of them rubber bands that he gets at my parent's house from their rubber band ball. He wears them because Papa wears them (my dad). He loves Papa and wants to be like him and the bracelets are his way. I just love Colin to death. He is cute and funny. He says things that just make you stop and wonder how such things got into his head. He is creative and still likes to be held and to cuddle. He's still little but when I look at him I can imagine the day when he is bigger than me. So Happy Birthday to Colin. I think our family is just a little more interesting because of him.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

My attempt at being crafty

A while back I was blog-hopping and I came across a post for a cute craft. It was called a Family Rules canvas. I thought it was super cute and that it might be something I could actually do myself. It's been in the back of my mind and yesterday I decided I wanted to make my own. So I went online and put "Family Rules canvas" into the search and came up with a ton of sites where people have made their own. I knew for me simpler was better so I typed my rules on my computer, went out to Michael's today and bought all of the things I would need. Now, I know mine is not all fancy or crafty. It looks a little plain-Jane, but that is me. I wanted it to be blue and yellow and I wanted it to be hung in the playroom/TV room. I love how it turned out. If you want to make one of you own I suggest just googling "Family Rules Canvas" and looking at the different ideas and seeing how other people did theirs. It's super easy and did not take me very long (probably because I'm a little impatient and I always seem to rush a little) and it only cost $15 since I had to buy EVERYTHING and since I didn't have a Michael's coupon because I very rarely go there. But it was fun, it turned out way better than I expected and I think Dave will be very impressed with my craftiness. (I ended up buying a 12x16 canvas but you can do them as big as you want.)