Monday, August 29, 2011

1st day

I was crying over the weekend thinking about the kids going back to school. I think it's hardest sending them to 1st grade since they are gone all day. And I was getting that "I'm going to be all alone" feeling and it was making me a little sad. I even ran into Colin's teacher at the grocery store on Saturday and started crying while I was talking to her. Usually I am so excited for school to start and to have a little time at home when all three boys are not here and I can actually get something done and keep the house clean. But it's also hard knowing they'll be away from me most of the day and that their teachers, not me, are going to get to see their faces light up when they learn something new or when that light bulb goes off in their little minds. It's hard sending them out into the open and not being there all of the time to watch over them and keep them safe. But they need it and so do I. My kids didn't care about new clothes this year so I didn't really get them any. Trevor got dressed this morning in a dirty shirt he wore on Saturday but I got him to change. Colin wanted to wear his kindergarten class shirt from last year. They both have a lot of familiar faces in their classes and Trevor is super excited to do homework this year. His teacher is going to try a new program where they do homework on the computer. Perfect for that kid. And now it's just Logan and me at home. What a day we've had. I got the kitchen cleaned, I've gotten three loads of laundry done, we went to the library, read books, had lunch together, played the computer together. I am loving the one on one time I'll get with Logan and I think he's enjoying getting all of the toys to himself. He's been non-stop playing all day. And now it's almost time to go pick up Trevor and Colin from their first day. Wow, that sure did go by fast. Kind of like how fast they seem to grow up.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Restaurant-style French Toast

I love French toast. Every week we have breakfast for dinner and French Toast is one of my favorites to make. And the kids love it. But I always wish I could figure out how to make my French Toast at home taste more like it does at restaurants. Yesterday I figured it out. I saw a recipe online where you make almost a pancake batter to dip the bread in. Then you cook it like normal and it comes out all golden brown and delicious. I made strawberry-blueberry syrup to go with mine. So yummy. My kids asked for more, and then some more. Here is the recipe. Make it this weekend or on Monday for your kids' back to school breakfast!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fun mom

I have a friend who is a really fun, creative mom. She does things for her kids like drive in movies (in her living room complete with cars made from old boxes), backyard campouts, pajama days, outings, crafts, super fun birthday parties and holidays and on and on. She is crafty and homemakey, smart, creative and she is the best mom I know. I'm not a really fun mom. I'm not very crafty or creative when it comes to kid stuff. But today I had a vision. I was out swimming (the kids didn't want to swim so I went out alone and did some water aerobics - swimming alone is SO NICE!) and when I was done swimming I was walking around my backyard. We have a lot pf palm trees and I don't really like palm trees, but today I noticed that in the back corner of the yard there is a really nice shady spot that is a little like being in a tree house. I thought how nice it would be to sit there and read. Then I thought how my kids needed to get away from the computer and go outside. So I built them a fort out back in the nice little corner of the yard. Just chairs and a blanket. But then I added snacks and drinks, their stuff animals and the books they like. I wrote a secret message and dropped it off on the computer table. And right now, my kids are outside, in their secret lair, in the middle of the jungle reading books and hanging out. Maybe I am a fun mom, after all. Maybe I can even take some of our old boxes from moving and make some cars and we can have a drive in movie this Friday. Thanks Tricia! You inspire me.

My new favorite dinner - thank you Pioneer Woman

There is a dish at Outback that Dave and I love. It's called Alice Springs Chicken. It's so delicious. It's this grilled chicken with a honey-mustard sauce; the chicken is smothered with mushrooms, bacon and cheese. Mmmmm. We usually split it, usually go pick it up and bring it home to eat. We've gotten it on special occasions like when the kids are not home and we are. But, it's expensive to go out dinner so we haven't had it for a very long time. A while ago I came across this recipe on The Pioneer Woman's blog. It looked delicious and it sounded a lot like the dinner from Outback we like so much (minus the mushrooms). I tried it a few times and really liked it, but last night I tweaked the recipe a little bit and liked it even more than before. Did I just say I "tweaked" a recipe from The Pioneer Woman? Yes. I sure did. Her food is great, but I don't think she would mind me changing it a little bit. And I am giving her full credit.

The sauce: The last time I went to the store all I could find was Honey Dijon mustard and last night I didn't have enough for the full 1/2 cup. So I used 1/4 cup Honey Dijon and 1/4 cup regular mustard. The rest of the sauce I kept the same (and it is sure yummy).

The chicken: Before I marinated the chicken I reserved some of the sauce. My husband likes to dip his meat.

Cooking: I don't know why but I hate cooking chicken in a pan on the stove. So instead, I grilled my chicken and it came out so perfect. Then I put the chicken on a baking sheet and spooned a little of the honey-mustard sauce on each piece, then added the bacon and cheese; put it in the oven just long enough to melt the cheese. Oh and I cook my bacon super crispy.

It was the best dinner. I served it with warm potato salad and roasted broccoli. It was so delicious I don't think I'll need to go to Outback anymore. And maybe next time I'll try it with the mushrooms. I think The Pioneer Woman should try it with mushrooms, because I know how much she loves them.

Friday, August 12, 2011

My favorite pictures of us

Dave and I celebrated our 10th anniversary this year. Some of my favorite pictures are the ones of the two of us. Once, when we had first started dating Dave's roommate, Blake, wanted to take some pictures of us. We went up to Mt. Charleston for an afternoon and he took pictures with one of those old fashioned cameras that used film. No editing required. What he took was what we got. He took some great pictures that day and for Christmas that year Dave gave me a frame with three of the pictures we took that day. That frame is in our room now. The one here is my favorite picture of the two of us. My very favorite ever. I think it's because we were newly in love. We were happy and we had all these possibilities and future plans ahead of us. Even though we weren't engaged yet, I think we both knew we were getting married. Blake also took our wedding pictures. I loved how excited we were to sit down and look at the proof sheet and pick the wedding pictures we liked best. We got some good ones. The two here are my most favorite of all. I just like how simple they are and that they focus on us. In our bedroom all of the pictures we have are just of the two of us. We don't have a family picture or pictures of the boys in our room. Our room is all about us. I love keeping it just our place, where we can go and look at these pictures we took so long ago and remember how it all started. And I love that the look Dave has in his eyes in these pictures is still what I see when he looks at me today.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Fun summer

It's getting close to school starting again and I keep thinking about how much we've done this summer. We moved, we went on 2 vacations, spent time with family and friends, went swimming almost every day, celebrated Kids Day with my parents and my sister and her kids, we've gone to the library, had little outings here and there. I LOVE that we have the pool. It's been so fun to watch the kids learn to swim and really enjoy it. And it's nice when they are bored to tell them to get their swimming shorts on and go jump in the pool. We love when friends or family come over to swim. We still have a few weekends to have friends over and enjoy the time off before school starts, though. It's been such a fun, busy summer. Here are a few pictures of some of the things we've been busy doing:Dave and Colin at the Las Vgeas mini city in Lego Land. The boys could have looked at this stuff all day long. Logan actually climbed the fence, into the Las Vgeas land and tried to play with a Lego truck.
You can tell my the look on their faces that the boys were getting tired. It was a long day but we had a great time. We went with some friends of ours and really enjoyed the time we spent at the park. Colin loved the roller coasters and there was something for all of the kids to enjoy. We'd love to go back again before the kids get too big.The boys' bathroom! I painted it one afternoon and then recruited my dad to put up beadboard. I love how it turned out. Now I just need to get some decorations for the walls and some new towels. We'll put hooks on the beadboard for the boys' towels. I can't wait to decorate another room in the house.