Thursday, February 25, 2010


First of all, Monday night Riley and I had Girl Scouts and when we returned we found this:

Carter has been falling asleep like this regularly and it looks so uncomfortable! Both of them were sleeping this time :)

Tuesday Carter went outside to play and after a while came to the door for a carrot. This is what I found when he was done. He made this snowman all by himself and boy was he proud. He hauled all three snowballs from the neighbors in his sled and then built Mr. Snowman. Unfortunatley, Reagan ate the carrot and broccoli the next day and knocked him over, but he was cute for a day.

Yesterday, the kids and I went out to make more snowbuddies. This is what we came up with...Mr. Snowman, Snow dog and Mrs. Snowgirl.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hard at work

Carter wanted to go out and shovel. If you know this boy, you know he would shovel all day long. I left him out there for about 30 minutes and found this:

He had shoveled the driveway clean. When he went out there it had at least two inches of snow on it and looked the the brown house across the street in the picture. He put a smile on my face :) He has no hat on because on his field trip this morning he went to Great Clips and he had his hair spiked. The field trip was to the grocery store, the pizza place and then the haircut place. All of the kids in his class loved the grocery store because they got a lot of treats. The pizza place was locked when we got there and they had forgotten about us. The kids were SUPPOSED to make a pizza and take it home to bake it. So they went and got their hair styled and then the pizza place had opened. They denied even having plans for the preschoolers to be coming but they gave them a piece of pizza anyway. So much for making it and seeing the pizza place. Carter ate his pizza in the car and made a mess but he loved every minute of it. I am soooo glad I went on the field trip while I am able and not working.

This is just a picture of Carter last week one night after a long and busy day.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Snow day, Children's Museum, A birthday and some gymnastics

Wednesday we had a snow day. RIley was pretty certain she would when she went to bed Tuesday night. We spent the morning making their Valentines' for friends and family. We planned on making some cookies too but we went ice skating instead.

Yesterday, Carter and I went to the museum with his cousins. It was a lot of fun and it was nice spending the day with just Carter. Here are some pictures of our visit.

It was also Matt's birthday yesterday. We went out for dinner and saw Avatar3D while the kids stayed home with Grandma Jennifer. Tonight we will celebrate the birthday with the kids.Carter went on a field trip to a gymnastics place in Holland today for school and he has not stopped talking about how much fun it was. He loved it! I did not get any pictures though :(

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Riley's 3rd Grade School Program

Last night, in the middle of a pretty good snowstorm, Riley had her only school program she will have in elementary school. She has been so excited about it and has been showing us the dance and singing us the songs/poems for weeks. We finally started telling her she was going to ruin it for us if she kept doing it at home and we wanted to wait to see it at the show. So in order for her grandparents, aunts/uncles and family that were not able to be there, I recorded quite a bit. I am posting all 4 of the videos that I got and you can watch what you want! :)

This is the beginning of the program. Riley is in the back row on the left side of the stage. She is third in from the left I believe.

Part 2 (Another Poem)

This is just Riley's class doing their song/poem.

This last one is Riley's class dance called Monkey business. She is dancing with one of her best friends.

Thanks to everyone who was able to come and see the program. Riley was glad you came out in the snow to watch it.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Leftovers and Smoky Chili

Friday was a night eat all of the leftovers from the week. So no new soup that night. The kids and I went ice skating until dark. We came home, ate and watched some tv. We were planning on game night but Carter fell asleep after dinner.
Saturday we went to church to donate blood. I have never been able to actually follow through and do it. I signed up one time in college and could not go and never tried again. I decided for a family reason that I wanted to donate blood and made an appt to do it. I really was not sure how I would do. Yes, I am afraid of needles but that is not the part I cant handle. I do not like the mental part that I know what is happening. However, there was good music and cookies so I was totally fine! Riley had a soccer game and Grandma Jennifer came with us. She was playing the team that she played the first week and she was scared. There are some really big 3rd graders on that team and they are good. BUT it was a much closer loss this time :)
We decided to go ice skating again since the sun was out and the ice is good. We had a blast and even my Aunt Sandy skated with us. We were having such a good time we did not realize that over two hours went by and we were still skating. The kids and I were exhausted.
Anyway, onto the soup of the day. I made Smoky Chili to bring to my moms for dinner. It was really good and super easy. Here is the recipe and I forgot to take a picture.

Smoky Chili

1 med onion
1 or more cloves of garlic
1 pound ground beef
1 package smoked sausage
salt and pepper to taste
2 (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes
15 ounce can beans (kidney, black, pinto, etc., undrained)
15 can tomato sauce
1-3 tbsp chili powder (depending on how spicy you want your chili)
grated cheese
sour cream
green onions

Chop onion and garlic. Saute onion until translucent and add the garlic and beef. Saute until beef is cooked. Chop the smoked sausage and add to pan. Season with salt and pepper. Add tomatoes, beans, and tomato sauce. Season with chili powder. Simmer uncovered about 1/2 hour until sauce is thickened. If desired top with cheese, sour cream and green onions. Serves 4-5

(I put the meat mixture into a crock pot and then added the rest of the ingredients and cooked on med for 3 hours. We just had crackers and did not add the cheese and sour cream.)

Today is the last day of our soup week and it will be Tortilla Soup, yum!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Alphabet Soup

Tonight's soup is the one the kids picked. Carter is so excited to find his letters for his name in his soup. The recipe is a combo of several I read and then I still added some of my own touches.

2 carrots, peeled and cut up
2 stalks celery, cut up
1 med onion, minced
2 Tbs oil ( I used I cant believe its not butter calorie free spray and I pour in about 2 Tbs)
2 cups chicken breasts cut up (I cooked them ahead with some chicken bouillon)
8 cups chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp dried thyme
I also added 3/4 cup sweet potato puree and 1/2 cup peas puree for some hidden nutrition
1 cup alphabet pasta

In large pot pour in oil and when hot add the celery, carrots and onion. Cook for 5 minutes stirring often. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute. Add chicken, broth, thyme, purees and salt/pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and turn temp to low. Cook for 15 minutes. Add pasta and cook for 8 more minutes. Serve.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Creamy Bean Soup

OK, last night's tomato soup was good. However, I was wearing it by the time I put it on the table. The blender and I did not get along with the hot soup! However, it tasted just like Campbells. So, it was also suggested to me that I post the recipes for these soups. I had pondered doing that last night but then I could not find the recipes online and was, to be honest, too lazy to type them! I am sure that I spent more time looking for them then it would have taken me to just type them but whatever. SO, I will start posting the recipes and if I have some extra time I will add the recipes to last night's post as well.

Onto tonights soup: Creamy Bean Soup

I found this recipe in a Pillsbury cookbook that Matt's grandma sent me last year. It is super easy. In fact I did not read the "How to" part when I selected it and did not realize that is was just a matter of throwing the ingredients into a pan! I did have a hard time finding the coconut milk. I ended up buying a fresh coconut and draining out the milk. I checked Walmart, Meijer and Family Fare for the canned stuff (supposed to be with the asian cuisine) and no luck.

Here is the recipe:

Serves 4 (And they mean that. It really only makes four bowls.)

1 can Refried Beans
1 can (14.5 oz) petite diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk (not cream of coconut)
1 can chopped green chiles (4.5 oz)
1 package taco seasoning

MIx in a pot and simmer for 20 minutes. Garnish with fresh cilanto and green onions

The recipe also suggest making taquito dippers to eat with it. Take flour shells and put strips of sharp cheddar cheese in them. Roll and seal with water. Place on cookie sheet, brush with veg. oil and bake for 5-7 minutes at 450 degrees.

On a side note, I am listening to Riley play with her new friend. She found out last week at school that she was getting a new girl in school and the best part was that she moved in right down the road. Riley was so excited over the weekend to meet her and help her at school and on the bus. So today, after two days of asking before this, her mom and I got them together. They are playing so nicely and I cannot believe how nice it is to have a friend so close that it does not involve making a playdate and setting up pick up and drop off. I love it!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Week of Soup

I am blogging about soup because this blog is ultimately a way for our family to keep a "journal" for memories. Really I dont know how because I have not located a place to print it or publish it but then again I have not looked very hard! I would love for this to be a memory for the kids to have someday.
Anyway, about the soup. Last week we were eating and decided as a family that we would have a different soup every night for a week. The kids and Matt LOVE soup so they are really excited. Last night was Taco Soup. It is a little sweet for the name because I thought it would be spicier. I did not get a picture but it was yummy. Tonight is homemade Tomato Soup. I am currently cooking the tomatoes. We will let you know how it tastes!!! I am most excited about the Garlic Cheddar Paesano bread! If you know me at all you are not surprised! And no I am not making that from scratch. Meijers made it.