Friday, September 28, 2012


 I decided to keep Logan home for one more year before he starts school. He really wanted to go to preschool so I told him we were going to do home school this year. It has been working out great. Two days a week we do the calendar, talk about the weather, sing songs. I have a theme each week so we read books and do art projects, we learn letters and numbers, colors and shapes. It's been fun spending special time with Logan and watching as he learns new things and gets excited about school. Even though home school has been fun, I wanted Logan to get to go to a real classroom. My friend Jamie teaches preschool for CCSD so we visited her today. Logan had a great time exploring her classroom and playing with everything. Jamie even gave me some toys, games and materials to use with Logan when we do preschool at home. I'm glad when he goes to school next year it's only going to be for half a day. I don't think I'm ready to be home alone quite yet.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Travel Plans

I envy people who travel. I dream about taking my kids to fun, historical places. I long to visit places I've seen in movies or read about in books. I am not a big traveler, but I have been to some fun places. I've been to Washington, D.C., Boston (twice), San Francisco, Alabama and Arkansas. Dave and I went on a cruise for our Honeymoon and we visited Nice, France for a week years ago. We've loved our trips to San Diego and sitting on the beach in Laguna.We've gone hiking with the kids in Zion, seen Shakespearean plays in Cedar. But, one of the places I have always wanted to go, the place on the top of my "Travel Bucket List" is Prince Edward Island. Anyone who knows me knows I love Anne Shirley. She is probably my all time favorite literary heroine and it's partly because of her that I love to write and why I wanted to become an English teacher.
Last night an idea popped into my head. I thought that I needed to plan a trip to PEI. I needed to plan it far enough in advance so I can save and plan and prepare, but not too far that it never happens. I asked two of my friends if they wanted to go with me. The two girls who I know love Anne as much as I do (maybe even more). They both said yes. Of course they said yes. We're going to go 4 years from now. It's written in black permanent ink on my future 2016 calendar: Vacation to PEI with Michelle and Erin. I can't wait. It's going to be the best trip ever.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner (it would even make a tasty snack)

After Logan and I finished his preschool lesson for the day (we learned about the sun and stars) he told me he wanted a soft taco for lunch. As I was making his quesadilla I decided I wanted something like that for lunch too, but different. I used the last flour tortilla on his lunch but I had some corn ones in the pantry. I started thinking about a breakfast burrito, but then my memory took me back to a Pioneer Woman recipe. It took me back to this: Pioneer Woman's Huevo in the Hole (click here for the recipe). So I started making it and in the middle of cracking the egg Dave came home for lunch. He told me it looked weird. I told him it was a PW recipe and her recipes have never failed me. I seasoned my egg with salt and pepper and when it was all cooked I added shredded cheese along with the salsa and sour cream. Dave still said it looked weird. So I gave him a bite and he said it was delicious. I told you. PW recipes are always good. Always. So I ate mine and then made one for him. I used the little tortilla circles to make mini quesadillas and ate them before Dave could see what I was doing. I'm sneaky that way. This would be a yummy breakfast, it made a great lunch and would even be good for dinner on those nights you don't know what else to cook. And if your kids don't like eggs that are all oozy in the middle (mine sure don't) they can eat the mini quesadillas. Try it, you'll like it.   

Monday, September 17, 2012

Room switch

We switched rooms around this weekend and I love how it all turned out. We moved the playroom downstairs where the guest room junk room was. We moved Trevor into the old playroom and kept Colin and Logan where they were. We cleaned out our bedroom closet to store things from the junk room and got rid of a bunch of stuff we're never going to use. We moved the desk from the TV room to T's new room and put Dave's drafting table in C and L's room for them to use as a drawing table. We moved a bookshelf from the junk room into the TV room so now we have all of our books in one, neat place. It was a ton of work but now that it's done I'm loving this house even more. Trevor loves his new room and Colin and Logan are loving their new art table. I don't think the boys are ready to sleep apart though...Colin and Logan slept on Trevor's floor last night. That's fine with me. I'm just glad we spread out a little and that every room is now being used in a good way.

Playroom downstairs now. Logan loves it and it's a little bigger than the old playroom so there is more space to make messes.
Boys' room before. I loved having all three boys in one room but it was getting cramped and we needed to spread out a little. 

Colin and Logan's room now. Much more space if they want to play. Hopefully it will be easier to keep clean.

Drawing table in C and L's room.

They've already personalized their space. Colin did not want to go to bed last night because he HAD to draw.

Trevor's new room! (the old playroom) I wanted to paint it so that he still liked it as he got older. I've been wanting to try gray  since it's such a popular color right now and blue is T's favorite color. We got Glidden paint in Pebble Gray and Navy Blue. I LOVE how it turned out. LOVE.

Colin's old drawing T has a place to study and do homework and become super smart.

Tons of space in this room. T is excited because now he can come home from school, go in his room, close the door and play alone. That boy does way better when he has had some alone time.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


I got an idea yesterday. A good idea to make some changes. Whenever the weather starts to change (either summer to fall or winter to spring) I get the feeling that I need to clean the house and organize and get rid of junk. I wanted to do that today but more. I wanted to rearrange some rooms. There were some protests and a few tears, but as we worked today the boys got on board and got more and more excited. Our house is a big mess right now. We have stuff everywhere, crammed into the hall, stacked onto the kitchen table and counters. The dishes didn't get done today or the laundry. But we're almost done. It went a little faster than I thought and by tomorrow everything should be put in its place - its new place. I can't wait to see how it all turns out. And to have this mess cleaned up.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My new favorite thing

Last summer I had a swim party for my friends and our kids. I needed to make a main dish that was cheap and would feed a bunch of people. A few weeks before the party there was a recipe on the Pioneer Woman's blog that was perfect: BBQ chicken thighs. I had never cooked thighs before so I was excited to try something new. I could make the dish in the crockpot which made it more appealing, and then I went to the store and saw how cheap chicken thighs were. They became my new favorite thing. A year ago I got chicken thighs just when I wanted to make the BBQ chicken, but then I started to substitute chicken thighs for breasts in some of my recipes.  Now I buy them all of the time and I can't remember the last time I had chicken breasts in my fridge or freezer. Boneless, skinless and cheap as can be. Every few weeks I can get them for 99 cents a pound and they come in a HUGE package which makes for many meals for my small family. I like to cook a bunch in the crockpot and then shred it. I put 2 cup portions of the shredded chicken into freezer bags (counts as food storage!) and use it when I want to make chicken tacos or enchiladas or a favorite of ours Chicken in a Biscuit. One of my favorite dinners (and Dave's and Trevor's) is Cranberry Chicken and it's so much better when I make it in the crockpot with the thighs. Tonight's dinner is Chicken Broccoli casserole made with chicken thighs and tomorrow I am going to make this: Pioneer Woman's Penne With Chicken Thighs. I've been wanting to try it for a while and I am hoping Colin will like it. He likes anything with spaghetti sauce but I'm getting tired of spaghetti and meatballs. I need to change it up a little. Here's my Cranberry Chicken recipe (try it, you'll like it):
1 can Whole Berry Cranberry sauce
1/2 cup Catalina Dressing
1 packet Onion Soup mix
4-6 Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
Place chicken thighs in the crockpot and sprinkle salt and pepper to season
Mix cranberry sauce, dressing and soup mix in a small bowl until combined. Pour over chicken. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. The chicken should fall apart easily after cooking.
Serve chicken and sauce over hot cooked rice.