Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It's Here!

The play set is here!
Bear was even excited to see it!


A super nice delivery guy from ABF Freight came at 10:45 this morning and unloaded the 1100 lbs of play set all by himself. I would have helped, but I think someone would have ended up hurt. (Most likely me! LOL!) He had it all under control with his lift and hand truck, but I sure felt bad for him because it was HEAVY!

As you can see, there is still the big job of putting it together. I'll post another update when we get to that. I'm hoping we have the chance this weekend, because Morgan is REALLY excited about her new play set! :-)

Thanks again to Dad Blogs and Kid's Creations for this AWESOME play set!

Wordless Wednesday: Fresh Scents in our Yard

Our yard smelled wonderful last week because of these:
Lilac

Apple Blossom

For more Wordless Wednesday, check out 5 Minutes for Mom, Go Graham Go!, Healthy Moms and PB and Smelly's Dad.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Potty Time Tuesday: Accidents


I haven't been working with Blake lately, so I thought I'd mention what has been going on with Morgan.

Saturday afternoon, I took the kids out to play after their nap and a sippy cup of juice. They had been playing for a while, then we took a walk and when we got back I ran into the house for a minute to check the time. When I came back out, Morgan was fussing about something, but I couldn't see her, since she was standing behind the snowmobile in the garage. When I got over to her, she had wet her pants. We got her changed and I didn't think too much of it. She had drank a full sippy cup of juice about 30-45 minutes before and maybe it was just an accident. (She has been potty trained for over a year, but still has the occasional accident.)

We stayed outside for another hour or so, when I decided we should probably head in. Morgan ran ahead and on into the house, while I struggled with Blake. (He can sure put up a fight when he wants to stay outside!) When I got to Morgan, she was standing on the landing with a puddle all around her. I honestly couldn't believe that it happened AGAIN! I got her changed and the mess cleaned up yet again. While I was cleaning I was trying to figure out why she wouldn't have told me she had to go twice in a row? Plus, she was close enough to the bathroom the last time, that she could have just ran in and went!

I still don't know if I got it figured out, but I'm thinking that our tractor ride the night before might have had something to do with it. If you didn't happen to read that post, when we were on the tractor Morgan told me she had to go potty, but with no potties around I let her squat behind the tractor. She had been potty trained a year and I never thought once that it might confuse her, but with two accidents, I'm wondering if it did. I've talked to her about it over and over again, plus I have been constantly asking her is she has to go potty since Saturday. Thankfully there have been no more accidents even after having to squat in the weeds again Sunday night during another tractor ride. I hope she had just gotten a little confused and after our talks she has it all straight now. (I'm keeping my fingers crossed! LOL!)

To participate in Potty Time Tuesdays, head on over to Healthy Moms.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Make Something Monday (a little early): Patriotic Gelatin Salad


I just made this for Morgan's birthday party, but it would be great for a Memorial Day BBQ too! (I'm actually posting a little early, just in case someone wants to make it. It works great when it's made the night before!)

Patriotic Gelatin Salad
Be careful to leave enough time for each layer to almost set before adding a new layer. I allow the first couple layers at least 15 more minutes than recommended because they start off warmer.
  • 2 packages (3 ounces each) berry blue gelatin
  • 2 packages (3 ounces each) strawberry gelatin
  • 4 cups boiling water, divided
  • 2-1/2 cups cold water, divided
  • 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In four separate bowls, dissolve each package of gelatin in 1 cup of boiling water. Add 1/2 cup of cold water to each and stir. Pour one bowl of blue gelatin into and oiled 10-in. fluted tube pan; chill until almost set, about 30 minutes. Set other three bowls of gelatin aside at room temperature. Soften unflavored gelatin in remaining cold water; let stand 5 minutes. Heat milk in a saucepan over medium heat just below boiling. Stir in sugar and softened gelatin until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream and vanilla until smooth. When blue gelatin in pan is almost set, carefully spoon 1-1/2 cups sour cream mixture over it. Chill until almost set, about 30 minutes. Carefully spoon one bowl of strawberry gelatin over cream layer. Chill until almost set. Carefully spoon 1-1/2 cups cream mixture over strawberry layer. Chill until almost set. Repeat, adding layers of blue gelatin, cream mixture and strawberry gelatin, chilling in between each. Chill until firm, several hours or overnight. Yield: 16 servings.

The first time I tried making this, it tasted great, but looked miserable! Using the bundt cake pan, then turning it upside down onto a plate, then driving down bumpy roads in the Spring time to make it to the Easter gathering did not do the looks of this salad any favors! The layers all separated and it looked like a disaster. (Luckily it was a family gathering and they all understood.)

The second time I made this, I thought it would be nice to put it in a glass 9x13 pan, so you could see the pretty layers still without dumping it onto a plate for them to separate. That idea may have worked for some, but with our uneven kitchen/refridgerator, all the layers still looked like a mess! (That time it was for a 4th of July party-I don't think anyone cared? LOL!)

All the following times, I've just stuck it in a regular metal 9x13 pan, so all you see is the top until it is cut. At least it looks decent in the beginning! LOL! I actually make it quite often now. I make it for Easter, birthdays, 4th of July and graduation open houses. I've even changed the berry blue layer to lime for the Christmas gatherings. It tends to be a pretty big hit!

I hope everyone is enjoying their Memorial Day weekend! :-)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Tractor Ride

Rich had the opportunity to work in the field yesterday. (When I say 'had the opportunity', I mean that he hasn't worked ground in nearly 2 years and the excitement he had was comparable to Morgan on her birthday!) He spent the morning working for his brother's landscaping business, then went straight to working ground for his grandpa's farm. (For having Fridays off, he has been really quite busy!)

The kids and I spent the day babysitting again. After the little guy left, I got dinner together and the kids and I ate without Rich, who was still in the field. He had invited us to come out to ride in the tractor with him, but Blake had a short nap and was whiny and grouchy all afternoon, so I wasn't sure that we would make it. We finished up dinner and the kids got their baths and into their pajamas. Blake continued his grouchiness, so I decided that maybe going for a ride in both the car and the tractor might actually be a good idea. (It was either that or he was going to drive me nuts! LOL!)

I put the kids in their coats and shoes and loaded them into the car (still in their pj's) and we took off for the field Rich was in. When we got there Rich drove over to pick us up and I snapped a few pictures. (It was the first time the kids got to ride in the tractor, so I had to bring the camera!)
It turned out that there was plenty of room for all four of us to ride, so I hopped in and we took off. Here are a couple highlights of the ride:
  • Both Morgan and I ended up having to use the outdoor facilities. I haven't had to do that probably since I was five! It was definitely Morgan's first time and you'll understand how it went if I just say that I wouldn't let her ride on my lap afterwards and we changed her clothes as soon as we got home! LOL!
  • We saw a few deer and a wild turkey up close, which was fun for the kids. We saw one very small fawn a little too close, though. Luckily Rich was watching behind him at the time and stopped quickly (along with saying a few choice words). The fawn had been laying in the weeds and almost got run over with the discs. As far as we could tell, he ran off unharmed.
  • After seeing the size of some of the stones in the field, we decided that next year the kids would be old enough to help pick up rocks. We think they would have fun, since it is something that Rich and I enjoyed doing when we were younger.
We all ended up having a great time! I wished we could have stayed longer, but both kids were tired and needed to get home and in bed. Rich stayed out working the field as long as he could, while he had the 'opportunity'. :-)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Share Our Strength’s Great American Bake Sale



Today, more than 12 million children in the United States do not know when their next meal will come. Unfortunately, this number continues to rise as these difficult economic times are leaving more and more people jobless, without homes, and unable to provide food for their families.

What can you do?

1. Sign-up to host a bake sale.
2. Buy the virtual Great American Bake Sale eBook.
3. Post a ChipIn widget or banner on your blog.

Make a difference in a child’s life by signing up and purchasing a virtual cookbook today! 100% of the proceeds from this eBook will benefit Share Our Strength’s Great American Bake Sale, which is a national effort that encourages Americans to host bake sales in their communities to help end childhood hunger. Funds raised support summer and after-school feeding programs in your community that thousands of kids depend on.

Once you have purchased your virtual Great American Bake Sale cookbook, double your impact and use the recipes to host your own Great American Bake Sale! Hosting a Bake Sale is a fun and easy way to make a big impact! To register your Bake Sale or for more information, please visit http://greatamericanbakesale.org/

(Yes-I was lazy and basically just copy and pasted this from an e-mail they sent asking for support. I do think it is a very worthy cause, though, and it sounds like it is right up my alley!) :-)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Morgan's 3rd Birthday

We celebrated Morgan's birthday with the family this past Sunday afternoon. Aside from the cold weather, the party turned out fairly nice! (We actually had to set up a propane heater!) Morgan got her Curious George cake, she is a pro at opening presents and, on top that, her party was in the garage and being outside is always fun! :-)
The Birthday Girl

The Cake

The Presents

The Family


Besides the party on Sunday, I wanted to make her actual birthday (which was yesterday) special too. I made a big cookie and decorated it. Then we spent as much of the day as we could doing fun activities. (I'm still babysitting, so that takes up some time!) We really had a great day and the cookie is delicious! (It's seriously almost gone! LOL!) :-)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Signs of Spring

The kids are playing outside.

The dandelions are out.

My tulips are in full bloom.


For more Wordless Wednesday, check out 5 Minutes for Mom, Go Graham Go!, Healthy Moms and PB and Smelly's Dad.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Absence Update

So, the busyness and worries of last week are over and I am quite relieved. Everything went well for the most part...

The favor of babysitting the little 5 month old has extended into this week. I will have him tomorrow through Thursday. The kids love him and he is really entertained by them, so it seems to work out quite well! I'm kinda liking having a baby around again too. :-)






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The visitation and funeral are over for my grandpa. He is really going to be missed by a lot of people. He was one of those people that if you didn't know him, you wanted to. As much as he will be missed here on earth, I know that he is free from pain now and in a much better place. I can imagine that he is up in heaven playing eucre and teasing grandma like he used to. If there is any type of farming in heaven, he is doing that too. :-)

I wanted to thank everyone for your thoughts of sympathy and your prayers during this time. I really appreciate your concern. :-)


***********************************************************

My dad has already went back to Germany and my mom will be leaving Wednesday. They both have a lot going on right now, so I didn't see them as much as I would have liked. Just six more weeks and they will be home for good, though! :-)


***********************************************************

Morgan's birthday went quite well, but I'll put up another post about that later. I still wanted to show you how the cake turned out...

All that worrying for nothing! It actually turned out pretty cute and Morgan probably wouldn't have cared if it didn't turn out anyway. By the time the presents started arriving, the cake was the last thing on her mind! LOL!

That's about all for the update. I'm hoping to do some catch up for a few days and be back on track by the end of the week, so start keeping an eye out for new posts! ;-)

Monday, May 11, 2009

My Absence from Blogging

I wanted to apologize for the lack of posts and being slow at getting back with everyone lately. There has been a lot happening, so I thought I would catch you up on a couple things that have been going on around here:

  • Besides the weather being nice and being outside more during the week, my weekends have also gotten longer with Rich working four 10 hour days and having Fridays off. I am trying not to be on the computer as much when Rich is home to spend more time as a family. Plus I just haven't been inside as much to do my usual computing.
  • The end of last week and the beginning of this week I have literally had a 'little' extra responsibility. I am babysitting a little 5 month old! He is a really good little guy, but having 3 kids under 3 years old can still be a handful!
  • This past Friday my grandfather passed away somewhat unexpectedly. To keep the tears to a minimum right now, I'm going to keep this part short. I'm just not my usual self these last few days.
  • My parents flew in from Germany on Saturday for the previously mentioned reason. With them just being home for a short time, I will probably be spending more time away for this next week and a half.
  • Morgan's birthday party is coming up next weekend and I have a bunch to organize and clean, plus learn how to decorate a Curious George cake. I'm excited for her birthday, but I'm really NOT looking forward to this cake. (I can't switch it out for a different cake now. She already asks nearly every day about her 'George cake'-LOL!)

Anyways, that's a peak at what is going on here. I'll still be around this week, but just not as much. I'm hoping to be back to the normal blogging and keeping up with everyone by the middle of next week. Take care and have a good week! :-)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The New Camera!

My new camera came in the mail on Monday and I wanted to share a little comparison of cameras with you:
Old Camera

My old camera is a Sony Cyber-shot that I got as a college graduation present in the Spring of 2004. It is a 5.0 Mega Pixel camera with a 3x optical zoom. (If that is worded funny to you, it's because I have no clue what I'm talking about! LOL!) I'm pretty sure it was one of the better cameras at the time.


New Camera
This is my new camera that was won along with the play set from Dad Blogs. It is a Canon Power Shot A1100 IS. (I think IS stands for Image Stabilizer, but I'm not sure what that means...yet.) It is a 12.1 Mega Pixel camera with a 4x optical zoom. I've only played with it a little bit, but it is REALLY cool! :-)


Accessories I didn't know that this was coming with the camera, but I also got a camera case and a second memory card!

I didn't realize just how outdated my old camera was until I started playing with the new one. I think it must have face recognition and a really neat autofocus! It makes all these fun sounds too while it's doing it's thing-LOL! The one thing that this camera doesn't do that my old one does is plug in to recharge. I'm going to have to get used to buying and switching out batteries now, but I think it will be more convenient, when we're out and about or on vacation, than hauling around cords!

I want to thank Dad Blogs, yet again, for this great prize! I'm really loving it! :-)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

My Life in Pictures: Day #2


Meg at My Edition of Gab is hosting a new My Life In Pictures challenge! I am going to try to participate a couple days at least, but it's turning out to be a busy week!

Here is the schedule if you would like to participate as well:
  • Monday: A place where you feel most at peace
  • Tuesday: Something you 'heart'
  • Wednesday: Go Green - your favorite green item
  • Thursday: Helping hands
  • Friday: A place in your city that you love and would like to show people who have never been there.

So today's challenge is to get a picture of something you 'heart'. I obviously 'heart' my family, since I blog about them all the time, so I decided to share with you something else that I 'heart':

I 'heart' cross-stitching! This is one of my favorite cross-stitches that I've done and I've done a TON! I just like how simple and cute it is. I love the colors and the cute little sheep. I love that Rich thought enough of my love of cross-stitching to actually order the beautiful mat that is on it for my birthday/Valentine's Day the first year we were married. I also love that it shows the true meaning of Christmas. I could probably go on and on about what I 'heart' about this, but I'll spare you all that reading! LOL!


For more My Life In Pictures, check out My Edition of Gab.

Potty Time Tuesday: Bath Time


There is actually nothing new in the potty training department this week. The last time Blake went on the potty was the only time he has gone on the potty. We are continuing to just sit him on the potty when he feels like it-usually once or twice a day. Since we haven't progressed any in potty training, I wanted to share a bath story instead.

Last night, when I went to give Blake his bath, I did the usual getting the tub full of water and adding a few toys for him to play with. I got Blake undressed and stood him in the water. As he was still standing there, I saw this little stream of fluid coming from him, so I grabbed him up and sat him on the potty. Well, I had to empty to the tub and refill it, so I let Blake sit on the potty while I was working at getting him some fresh water to bath in. I should have realized that Blake was being too quiet, but I didn't. When I turned around the roll of toilet paper had nearly been emptied. I rolled the toilet paper back onto the roll as the water filled in the tub again. I took Blake straight from the potty and set him in the new clean water to have another go at giving him his bath. Apparently he was to busy unrolling the toilet paper while he was on the potty to finish going, because as soon as he got back in the water he peed again...

So, the third time was the charm last night. Blake got his bath and as far as I know he didn't bathe in his own bodily fluids. It made me wonder, though, how many times he has peed in the tub without me knowing. Gross, right? I try not to think about it too much...LOL!

To participate in Potty Time Tuesdays, head on over to Healthy Moms.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Make Something Monday: Simply Fudgy Brownies

Make Something Monday
I used to make these all the time when our oven wasn't working and I was pregnant Morgan. (And even after Morgan was born, since the oven still wasn't working-LOL!) It was one thing that I could bake in our toaster oven! LOL!

Simply Fudgy Brownies
  • 1/4 c. cocoa
  • 1/2 c. vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 c. flour
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. walnuts (optional)
  • 1/2 c. milk chocolate chips (semi-sweet work too!)
In a small bowl, combine cocoa and oil until smooth. In another bowl, beat eggs. Add the sugar, vanilla and cocoa mixture, mix well. Stir in flour and salt just until moistened. Fold in walnuts.

Pour into a greased 8 inch square baking pan; sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.


For more Make Something Monday, check out Go Graham Go! and Jolly Mom.
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