Friday, February 27, 2009

Rich's Recent Accomplishment

A little while ago I announced that Rich had passed his state professional surveying exam like it wasn't a big deal, when really it was and is! I was mostly trying to avoid embarrassing Rich. He really tries to be humble about his accomplishments, but I decided that I don't have to be! I'm really proud of him and excited for him!

So on January 31st Rich passed his state professional surveying exam. He had already passed the national exam and only needed to pass the state exam to become a professional surveyor (PS). It is a huge accomplishment! He has been working at becoming a professional surveyor for 10 years between college and an internship under another professional surveyor. I knew how exciting it would be for Rich to become a PS, but every little thing that has happened since, because of it, has added to that excitement. Here is the time line:
  • The Monday following the exam, he called to get his license and by that night the state had already posted his surveying number. He now had a number-very exciting!
  • Then the license came in the mail the following Saturday. More excitement!
  • Since he had his license, the next Monday he was able to order his rubber stamp and his embossing stamp(to stamp surveying papers). Yay!
  • That Tuesday he left for the Michigan Professional Surveying Conference and spent his first year at the conference as a PS. (Apparently it was very exciting, but I was not able to go with him. I hope to be with him next year when he is recognized at the banquet and receives a plaque!) :-)
  • The next Tuesday his stamps were done and he was able to pick them up. He also found out that he won 500 caps (things that go in the ground that show he was the one to do the survey) while at the conference. Winning something is always exciting and so were his stamps! (The embossing one is really cool!)
  • Last Friday, his place of employment had an announcement put in the local paper. We had to track the paper down when we found out, but he has a copy now. Even more excitement!

He has also gotten cards and letters of congratulations, offers to be taken to dinner or out for a drink to celebrate and even gifts. I knew it was a big deal, but this has been a real whirlwind of (yeah, I know I said it a million times already) excitement! The buzz has dwindled down now, but I wanted to share a little of what has been going on here this last month. I, again, am really proud of Rich and I am happy to be his 'other half' enjoying everything right along with him!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I've Been Tagged!

When Cascia from Healthy Moms left a comment that she had tagged me, I'll admit I had no clue what she meant. There are still some things I'm getting used to in the blogosphere! (I'm actually proud that I knew the word 'blogosphere'! LOL!)

Here are the rules:
  1. Link to the person who tagged you.
  2. Post these rules in your blog.
  3. Write 5 Random things about yourself.
  4. Tag Random people at the end of the post and link to them.
  5. Let each person know they've been tagged.

Five Random things about me:
  1. I am a Yale graduate! I love saying that! It sounds so prestigious! I actually went to Yale High School. LOL!
  2. The town I grew up near has a Bologna Festival where they serve the bologna they make there. They have a bologna parade and they crown a king and queen of bologna, as well as a prince and princess hot dog. The also have outhouse races and a bologna ring toss competition. Sounds exciting, right?
  3. I raised 4-H beef cattle for 10 years. I also raised sheep and angora goats for 4-H, which leads me to #4...
  4. I know how to spin wool into yarn, but I haven't done it in years!
  5. We have three cats named after alcohol. The first one Rich got when he moved in to what is now 'our' house. He named her 'Busch' after his favorite beer. The second cat came along while Rich and I were dating. We're pretty sure Bear brought her here. She looked a lot like Busch, but with more white, so Rich named her 'Busch Light'. The third cat is temporary (he's my parents' cat) and actually did not come with an alcohol inspired name. His name is 'Coconut', but to keep with the theme we call him 'Coconut Rum'.
The 5 people I'm tagging are:
  1. Alexia from The Mommy Rambles
  2. Marissa from Mama Sparkles
  3. royaldixie from Dexter's Super Savvy Mommy
  4. Kristi from The Wheels are Rolling
  5. FireMom from Stop, Drop and Blog

I hope you all have as much fun with this as I did! Thanks Cascia!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Coffee Table Potatoes?

When I saw them both on the coffee table I had to snap a picture before shooing them off.

For more Wordless Wednesday, check out 5 Minutes for Mom, Go Graham Go! and Healthy Moms.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Redbook's Hottest Husband Contest

After having Bear in the Sleep Number Pet Bed contest, I know I said I would never vote for someone in a contest just because they asked. When I come across a contest, I have been keeping with my word and only voting for who I truly think deserves to win. Well, FireMom at Stop, Drop and Blog is asking for votes for her husband right now for Redbook's Hottest Husband Contest and I was conflicted. How could I vote for any of them, when my husband is truly the hottest husband, right? So I decided that I would go through them and decide by which husband was most like my own and vote for that one. That was the only fair way I could think of, since my own husband isn't a finalist. After looking through the finalist's ages, professions, how many kids they have, etc., it turns out that FireMom's husband, FireDad, had to be the one that I voted for. So, yes I voted for him, but not because FireMom asked. :-)

Stop on over and check out Redbook's Hottest Husband Contest and vote for your favorite. Just remember that FireDad (Joshua Hatfield) is a firefighter. How much hotter can you get than that? ;-)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Don't Break the Ice!

I love finding activities to do with the kids that really gets them excited and makes them laugh. They received the game "Don't Break the Ice!" for Christmas and we took it out to play it for the first time the other day. Not only were they excited and laughing, but they couldn't wait to get the game back together, so they could 'play' all over again. (The thing is they really didn't care to 'play' the game, they just liked knocking the ice out. Each time they 'played', I would spend 5 minutes putting it together for the 10 seconds it took them to 'break the ice' again.) You can see how much they loved 'playing' by the looks on their faces...

Morgan is a little on the blurry side from jumping up and down :-)

I'm even excited to play it again! I loved hearing them laugh and squeal at the simple act of knocking out a little block of ice. It might not be a very educational game, but it is a ton of fun!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookies

I tried another new recipe the other night, but this time it was from the Internet and not my new cookbook. :-) We were out of baked goodies and I had been wanting to try to make some cookies with zucchini. (If I have made them before, I don't remember!) I found this recipe for Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookies on Recipezaar. The recipe looked good, sounded good and had good reviews, so I figured the cookies must be good! ;-)

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookies
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups walnuts, chopped (optional)
  1. First, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray cookie sheets with cooking spray or line with Parchment paper.
  3. Next, cream butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs, flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt into the butter mixture, gradually; mix well.
  5. Stir in the zucchini.
  6. Fold in walnuts (optional) and chocolate chips.
  7. Drop by teaspoonfuls with 2 inches between them onto the cookie sheets.
  8. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Let stand for 2-3 minutes before removing from cookie sheets to a wire rack to allow to cool completely.

This recipe made a bunch of cookies! It said that it made 96, but I ended up with about 82. I'm not surprised, though, I tend to make my cookies on the big side. :-) I figure each cookie is about 75 calories, which really is not too bad for a chocolate chip cookie! They have a really light cake-like texture to them that some people may not like, but Rich, Blake and I really like them. I haven't determined if Morgan actually likes them or not yet. The first one she had, she ate the whole thing, but with the second one she just dug all the chocolate chips out while I wasn't looking. I guess we'll see what happens with the next one! :-)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sweet & Silly Morgan

I have really been enjoying hearing some things that Morgan has been saying lately. Some of them make me laugh, while others are just super sweet.

Morgan has went from calling her brother "Buddy", when he was first born, to "Blake" and "Blakers" and now, most recently, "Boy".

When curious what Blake was doing:
"What you doing? Huh boy?"

When in their cribs in the morning before calling for me:
"Wake up boy!"
And amongst a bunch of giggling:
"You funny boy!"

Calling Blake "Boy" may have stemmed from the following conversation about gender:

Morgan: "Morgan a girl, Blake a boy, Daddy a guy..."
Me: "What's Mommy? Is Mommy a girl?"
Morgan: "NO! Mommy not a girl! Mommy a mommy!"

We've been working on praying lately. My mom used to pray "Now I lay me down to sleep" with me before I went to bed and I wanted to do a similar thing with Morgan, but thanking God and not reciting a prayer so much. She got it down quick and now does it on her own:

"ank you Mommy.
ank you Daddy.
ank you brother Blake.
ank you color.
ank you play.
ank you eat.

Yeah-we need to work on the "th" sound and the word "for". LOL!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Germany Trip: Trier

I wanted to finish my posts about my trip to Germany by the end of January but, obviously, that did not happen! There have been so many other fun things to blog about that I have been neglecting the Germany trip posts. My new goal is to just finish them when I get to it :-)

Going to Trier was the first day trip we took while in Germany. Trier is Germany's oldest city and has the neatest Roman ruins! We started by going to Porta Nigra, the city gate. I really don't know much else about it besides that, but it was definitely quite old!

We then walked past the "House of the Three Magi". I haven't figured out how they knew that was where the three magi stayed, since no one knows who they were, so I'm going to guess it is just a legend. The entry door to the house was on the second floor and there would have been a wooden staircase going up to it. If the town were in danger the staircase would be knocked down so no one could enter the house.

We hit up the Christmas Market, of course, then went on to the St. Peter's Dom, which happens to be the oldest Christian church in Germany! This cathedral is also the home to the Holy Robe of Christ. We were not able to see it, but we could look inside the room where it is kept and see the box that it is kept in! :-)

As we went on, we then saw the Basilica and what we called the Pink Palace, but apparently it's actually called the Elector's Palace. The two buildings are connected and were quite a site! There wasn't a lot of foot traffic around it, so Dad ended up setting up his tripod and getting a picture of the 4 of us :-)

Across a huge garden and beyond the city wall, was the Imperial Baths. They are all in ruins now, but a little shop/museum was set up as the entrance into the baths and we could watch a little movie on what it would have looked like. It was still neat to be able to walk through the ruins and the tunnels and experience the vastness of it. I also tried to delete some old pictures while we were there. Between my lack of knowledge about my camera and trying to hurry to get as many pictures as possible, I accidentally deleted every picture I had taken so far while there. Talk about a sinking feeling in my tummy! I've relied on pics from my Dad for these posts :-)

After the Imperial baths, we took a nice walk to find the Amphitheater. We could see where the people used to sit to watch the events, which was the grassy areas. We were also able to go below ground, under the amphitheater. It was all very neat. You could almost imagine the crowds back in Roman times filing in to see the gladiators fight.

We walked back toward the city to see if we could find where the Thermal baths were. I think we must have walked past them and went around, then came back and finally realized that there was a building built around them. No wonder they didn't stick out! All the stone was white in these baths. There were also strange pieces that didn't seem to fit in and it turned out that a building had been built on top using the baths as a foundation at one point. (The building around it now, was more for protection and it created a kind of museum as well.) So the pieces that didn't fit in were not actually from the original baths.

That's about it for Trier. (We were quite busy while we were there!) Check out the slide show!

To learn more about Trier, Germany visit Rick Steves Germany and Austria 2008 book preview.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Ham 'n' Cheese Quiche

I had it kinda easy last week when it came to meals. Between Rich being gone to a surveying conference and having a lot of leftovers from the birthday party, all I ate was ham, potatoes and green beans every night of the week! By Friday I had run out of the leftover potatoes and green beans, but still had a nice amount of ham left that I wanted to make something new with. I grabbed my trusty new cookbook, Taste of Home's 2004 Quick Cooking Annual Recipes, to see if there was anything I could make that sounded good and I had all the ingredients for. (Rich had our only running vehicle, so taking a trip to get groceries was out of the question.) I came across a Ham 'n' Cheese Quiche that sounded like it just might work if I made a couple small changes. Well, it turned out to be several changes, so I'm just going to give you the recipe for my version. :-)

Ham 'n' Cheese Quiche

  • 1 pastry shell (9inches)
  • 1 cup diced fully cooked ham
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/8 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1/8 cup chopped onion
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion salt

Line unpricked pastry shells with a double thickness of heavy-duty foil. Bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes. Remove foil; bake 5 minutes longer.

Place ham, cheese, green pepper and onion in the bottom of the pastry shell. In a bowl, whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour into shell. Sprinkle onion salt over top of quiche. Cover edges with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 5-10 minutes before cutting. Yield: 6 servings.

I love the way it turned out, except for my pastry shell. I made it from scratch and I'm sure you can tell from the picture that I need some practice :-) I liked it so much that I've made it a second time since last Friday. Morgan even loves it! She thinks she is eating pizza :-)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Ready to Ride!

Something that Rich always says (well asks actually) when we are about to jump in the car is "Ready to ride?" That was my first thought for a title when I saw this picture, because Morgan couldn't have been more ready! She even has a key chain in her hand! :-)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Bear's Sleep Number is...

Unfortunately we'll never know. Bear's picture came in last place with 109 votes. Despite the outcome, I am still excited and honored that Bear was chosen as a finalist. I have never had a picture that I've taken chosen to be a finalist in a competition before! How fun is that!?

I did what I could asking for votes from friends and family, but after a few days I felt guilty for that and stopped. I didn't want Bear to win because I rounded up the most votes for him, I wanted him to win because his picture truly deserved it. Seriously, how many 100 lb dogs would try to fit on one cushion of their own couch so a cat could have the other cushion? I have no clue either, but I really thought he'd have a chance.

I then discovered how naive I was. I am a new small-time blogger with a couple sweet followers and very few resources. Bear was up against dogs whose owners either had several blogs and followers or offered entries to giveaways for votes. My hopes of Bear winning by being a cute picture went down the drain and I decided whatever happened, happened!

I did learn a lot though!
  • It's just fun being part of the competition and a real honor!
  • If I ever have a picture chosen as a finalist again, I will inform people that there is a great photo contest, check out the pics and vote for their favorite. It just doesn't feel right asking people for votes!
  • If I see a giveaway where entries are given for votes on the blog owner's behalf, I won't enter. I know how it feels to be their competitor now.
  • Winning definitely isn't everything and Bear can live without a fancy bed. Rich was going to build a box around a couple old couch cushions for Bear before the contest and that's what his plans are again! Bear won't know the difference :-) (Sorry Rich, I was hoping to save you some time!)

I want to thank everyone who did vote for Bear, even if it was just because I asked. You still took the time and I appreciate that! I also want to thank Kristin at An Ordinary Life for choosing Bear's picture as one of the finalists. I am truly grateful and honored to have been part of your Sleep Number Pet Bed contest! :-)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

There are two things that we grow in our garden that I love to bake with. One is pumpkin and the other is zucchini. I mostly loved to make chocolate zucchini cake and zucchini bread with the zucchini, until a couple years ago, when my mom found a recipe for chocolate zucchini bread. I now love to make it just as much as my orginal favorites!

I usually do baking with my garden goodies when they are in season, but I happened to freeze a couple bags of shredded zucchini this past summer. I'd say that I froze it because I wanted to be able to enjoy some of my summer baked goods year round, but the truth is I couldn't keep up with eating my zucchini and I didn't want it to go to waste. (I had zucchini coming so quick that even after giving it to friends and family, I started putting it next to the road with a "FREE" sign!)

Anyway, I was in the mood for some of that delicious chocolate zucchini bread the other day, so I pulled a bag of frozen zucchini out of the freezer and whipped up a batch. The recipe happens to make 2 loaves of bread, which I also love! I usually keep one out to eat fresh, then freeze the other so we can enjoy it later. It works out really well! We don't get sick of eating chocolate zucchini bread from there being an abundance and we can have it later on without the work of making it all over again!

Okay-that intro turned out a lot longer than I expected! Here is the recipe (finally). :-)

Chocolate Zucchini Bread
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla
2 cups shredded zucchini
2-1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Combine eggs, oil and sugar. Stir in zucchini. Combine dry ingredients. Add to zucchini mixture and mix well. Pour into 2 greased and floured bread pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

I don't know if you can tell from the picture, but I also add about 1/4 cup chocolate chips to the top. Extra yummy! :-)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

I just wanted to share a couple pics of the kiddos enjoying their Valentine's Day cards from their Grandma and Grandpa.
Morgan posed for her picture then went and colored her card.

Blake just tried wearing his :-)

I hope everyone has a wonderful day with their Valentine/s! :-)

Friday, February 13, 2009

I'm Loving the New Look!

I had been thinking of changing the look of my blog for quite a while. I was really fond of the simple look of the brown template, but at the same time I wanted something brighter. Since I had no clue how to go about changing it, I figured it was just going to stay the same old brown starter blog forever.

A few weeks back Marissa at Mama Sparkles blogged about how Jen at The Trendy Mommy Blog Designs created her custom design when she was searching for a new look for her blog. In that post she also offered a giveaway for a premade header from The Trendy Mommy Blog Designs. As you can probably guess from the fresh new look here at Kristie's Notes, I entered and won that premade header!

I am seriously excited about my blog's little makeover. I love how clean and fresh it looks. I also love how roomy it is! I think my posts are a lot easier to read now with all the extra space. I really want to thank Marissa at Mama Sparkles for hosting such a wonderful giveaway and Jen at The Trendy Mommy Blog Designs for her time and effort in giving my little blog a cute new look!

If you are looking for a new look for your blog, take a peak at The Trendy Mommy Blog Designs. Jen has some really nice premade headers for a very reasonable price, as well as a portfolio of custom designs that she has done.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Make Cupcakes for a Cause!

I love to bake! If you know me or have read a little bit of my blog, you probably already know that. Not only do I love to bake, but I also love to eat and share what I bake! The only problem with all that baking and eating and sharing is it isn't really the best for me or the people around me.

Good thing Electrolux has a program on their site where you can create and share virtual cupcakes! I love it! I can make cupcakes in all sorts of flavors, frost them, decorate them and share them as much as I want to. I just have to leave the eating up to my imagination. It sure saves on my waistline! ;-)

Electrolux didn't start this virtual cupcake creation to save my waistline, though, they did it to save lives. For every cupcake that is sent, they donate $1.00 to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. Plus (yes-there is more) for every cupcake you send you will also get an entry into winning the newest front-load Washer & Dryer (an estimated $3,600 value) from Electrolux. How great is all that!

There are so many bonuses to this whole thing, I don't see why everyone shouldn't be doing it! I have already made 6 cupcakes for friends and family! Quite delicious ones, too! (At least to my imagination.) :-)

Tortilla Snowflakes (sort of)

I saw a wonderful idea on Mom's Marbles a couple weeks ago to make tortilla snowflakes. The idea is really simple. Just warm a flour tortilla (so it doesn't break when you fold it), fold it in quarters and use scissors to cut the tortilla like you would if you were making a paper snowflake! Easy right? Afterwards, you can spread some butter on your tortilla snowflake, sprinkle it with powdered sugar and cinnamon and toast it for a tasty snack! I thought it sounded like a great idea to do with Morgan, but she is a little young to use 'grown-up' scissors. So, then I thought she could just tear away pieces of the tortilla and make a snowflake that way. It turns out that tearing the tortilla doesn't work out so well, either, for a 2 year old :-)

This was my example to show Morgan how to do it. It worked out great for Blake to have one, too! (Hey! I know what you're thinking. It looks like Morgan made it. You can only do so well when tearing a flour tortilla!)

Morgan going to town tearing her tortilla apart. I haven't decided what it is suppose to look like, but I'm pretty sure it isn't a snowflake.

Buttered, sugared and toasted snowflake. (I forgot the cinnamon.)

Buttered, sugared and toasted...Morgan's creation? :-)

Morgan trying to decide the best way to get the sugar off without eating the tortilla. Turns out that licking works quite well!

The little man who eats anything enjoying his tortilla snowflake.

Any activity where the kids can eat what they made is a winner! Morgan and I had a lot of fun with this and Blake enjoyed the outcome! :-) I'd love to try it again when they are a little bit older and can actually use scissors.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: A Toy Bath?

This is Morgan's way of giving Blake a pretend bath. Even Blake looks confused! :-)

For more Wordless Wednesday, check out 5 Minutes for Mom, Go Graham Go! and Healthy Moms.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Passionate Blogger Award

I was recently honored with the Passionate Blogger award from Cascia at Healthy Moms. This is my first award as a blogger and I am very excited! When I started blogging, it was kind of for fun and also to share what was going on with family and friends that I didn't see very often. I never expected that other moms, that I didn't even know, would also want to see what was going on in my life, let alone want to give me an award! I know I already said that I am honored, but I truly am and I can't say it enough! I want to thank Cascia for thinking of me for this award. It was very sweet of you!

Here are the rules for this award:
1. Put the logo in your blog
2. Write five things you are passionate about apart from blogging
3. Tag 5 people on your lists and let them know you tagged them.

Five things that I'm passionate about:
1. My family
2. God
3. Baking
4. Vegetable gardening
5. Cross-stitching

The 5 people that I would love to give this award to are:
1. Alexia @ The Mommy Rambles
2. Kristi @ The Wheels are Rolling
3. Marissa @ Mama Sparkles
4. Nicole @ Momtrends
5. Sarah @ Mom's Marbles

Some of these blogs I've been reading for a while and others I've just found recently and love! They always have a post that I can either learn from or relate to and I really appreciate all of them. I can tell that these women are all very sweet people and passionate bloggers who deserve this award.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Maggie & Me: Our shared birthday!

Our family always tries to get together to celebrate each others birthdays-especially for the little ones'. My parents usually host a little party and have dinner and cake but, being they are in Germany, they couldn't do that this year. Rich and I decided that we'd like to do a little something for my niece, Maggie, and my birthdays this past Saturday to keep up with our tradition. (Maggie and I actually share the same birthday-February 8th.)

For dinner, we had ham, mashed potatoes, green beans, salad, beer bread and a veggie tray. I was worried about the ham. I had only made it once before and that was several years ago. It was super easy and turned out great, though! The cake was a yellow cake with chocolate frosting-one of my many favorite cakes :-) I felt funny putting my own name on the cake, but Rich came up with putting 'Happy Birthday Maggie & Me'. I thought it sounded really cute and was going to do it, but after I got the 'Happy Birthday Maggie' on there, I decided '& Me' wasn't going to fit.

Both my grandpas were able to come. Rich just had to go pick them up and drop them off again. They are 91 and 81 and neither of them drive much anymore. My sister, Katie, and her boyfriend were also here along with my brother, Mike, and is girls, Eme and Maggie. It turned out to be a great little birthday party and I think everyone had a nice time. Check out the little slideshow I put together:

(I tried a couple times to get the one picture to rotate, but the site was giving me a hard time and I gave up.)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Coconut Biscuits

When I saw this recipe in the Taste of Home's 2004 Quick Cooking Annual Recipes cookbook, I thought it sounded really simple yet delicious! I really like coconut and biscuits, so why not combine them! :-)

Coconut Biscuits
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup flakes coconut, toasted
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; cut in shortening until crumbly. Combine milk and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in coconut. Drop by 2 tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 425 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm. Yield: about 1-1/2 dozen.
I had never toasted coconut before and I had no clue how I should go about doing it. I figured there couldn't be much to it. I had seen my mom do it in the past without any problems. I tried what I thought would work and without going into too much detail, if you see smoke coming from the oven, the coconut is toasted!

The biscuits turned out delicious! I love them and I probably ate way more than I should have. I only ended up with 15, so they were about 150 calories each. Rich and Blake liked them, but I couldn't get Morgan to try them. I think she thought I was baking cookies when I made them, so she was quite disappointed when she saw that they weren't.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Honey Chicken Stir-Fry

I had bought some frozen broccoli quite a while ago now with the intentions of eating more veggies than just the green beans that we had canned. Well, it turned out that the broccoli just ended up getting terribly freezer burnt and I had no clue what to do with it. I hate wasting food, so I couldn't just throw it out! When I came across this recipe, I thought it would be a great way to use the broccoli and hoped it would have enough flavor to cover up the freezer burnt taste.

Honey Chicken Stir-Fry

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 teaspoons olive or canola oil, divided
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 package (16 ounces) frozen broccoli stir-fry vegetables (I just used a package of broccoli, then threw in some frozen green pepper that I had.)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Hot cooked rice

In a large skillet or wok, stir-fry chicken and garlic in 2 teaspoons oil. Add the honey, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Cook and stir until chicken is lightly browned and juices run clear. Remove and keep warm.
In the same pan, stir-fry the vegetables in remaining oil for 4-5 minutes or until heated through. Return chicken to the pan; mix well. Combine cornstarch and cold water until smooth; stir into chicken mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened. Serve over rice. Yield: 4 servings.

The stir-fry turned out delicious! I've actually made it twice now. (I had 2 bags of broccoli to use up.) It has a nice sweet flavor and I couldn't tell that the broccoli was freezer burnt, so that was a bonus! :-) Not counting the rice, the stir fry is only 240 calories and it is quite healthy! The only problem is the kids won't eat it, but they are getting really picky. (We need to work on that!)

Thanks again to Taste of Home's 2004 Quick Cooking Annual Recipes cookbook for the great recipe!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Movie Nights

I don't know about you, but I had a great time in college-especially my freshman year. My roomate and I met some great friends and we all spent a lot of time together. One thing we loved to do was have movie nights in our dorm room on the weekends. We would all gather our movies and stay up all night watching them and talking. It was quite a site with people all over the floor and beds and...well we won't get into that. Just kidding! We had good clean fun and then we would spend the whole next day sleeping. :-) Looking back now, I don't know how I ever did those long nights of movie watching. I have a hard time staying awake through 1 movie now that we start watching at 8:00!

I know I can never get my college days back, but with a subscription to Netflix and a Roku Player, I could attempt to get those old movie nights back! The Roku player allows you to get movies directly from Netflix online and watch them instantly on your TV. How cool is that! And with a selection of over 12,000 movies and TV episodes, there would be no reason that I couldn't create movie nights with Rich and the kids. I'm sure the site in our house would be quite different than my old dorm room. Rich and I would both be passed out with 2 little ones sleeping in our arms...not quite the same as in college, but a lot more special :-)

Tanya over at Mommy Goggles is hosting a great giveaway where you can win a 6 month unlimited subscription to Netflix and a Roku Player to make movie watching super easy! Head on over to see how to win movie nights for your family!

Blake loves reading with Daddy

Blake has started to show more interest in books lately. Anytime I've tried to read to him, he just grabs the book and closes it, but when Rich reads to him, he really seems to enjoy it! It's so cute!

He has even started to sit and look through books on his own. I'm hoping he'll love books as much as Morgan always has. He is just getting a later start :-)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Building with Marshmallows

When we were at my in-laws this past Sunday, the kids were enjoying a few marshmallows with Grandma. The marshmallows reminded me of an activity I saw on another mom's blog recently (sorry, I can't remember whose), where they used mini marshmallows and toothpicks to build with. So, Rich picked up some mini marshmallows when he grabbed the groceries Monday and the kids had fun Tuesday with the marshmallows and 'sticks' as Morgan calls them :-)

Morgan went right to town putting her 'sticks' end to end and connecting them with the marshmallows. I had tried to show her how to build more, but she was content with the 'line' she was making.
Blake, on the other hand, went straight to chowing down on the yummy marshmallows!

Only when his mouth was stuffed did he try to stick a toothpick into a marshmallow. When it was just about in, he'd change his mind and put the marshmallow in his mouth instead. :-)

It made for a great afternoon activity/snack. Morgan even told me how much fun she had and that she wants to do it again. I think she liked eating her marshmallows when she was all done playing with them :-)

Monday, February 2, 2009

We have a thief in our midst!

I'm starting to get used to my kids surprising me, but I'm not quite used to them embarrassing me yet. We spent last night watching the Super Bowl at some friends of the family. Morgan and Blake had a great time playing with their youngest son and his toys. They were in and out of his room all night with all sorts of new and wonderful things and they thought it was great! When we came home, they were pooped and went straight to bed in their clothes.

This morning I changed the kiddos and threw their dirty clothes in the laundry so I could wash them today. As I sorted the laundry, I saw something sticking out of the pocket of Morgan's jeans that she wore last night. When I pulled it out, I was shocked to find a $10 bill and a little play penny. My stomach sank! I knew what must have happened and what I was going to have to do. I had a little talk with Morgan about how it isn't nice to take other people's things. She said "I'm sorry, Mommy" as she hung her head down in shame. I then went on to make a very embarrassing call. I ended up having to leave a message about what I found and I let them know that Rich would be by tomorrow after work with the loot.

I know Morgan didn't really know what she was doing. She was probably just playing at putting money in her pocket like she sees mommy and daddy do (our own, of course) and then didn't think to take it back out before we left. At least that's what I hope happened! I'd hate to have to pat her down before we leave people's places to make sure she isn't trying to get away with other kids' birthday money. I know, I know-this won't be the last time my little ones embarrass me-I just hope it doesn't have to do with either of them being a thief in the future!
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