Friday, February 8, 2013

Broccoli Salad Recipe

So I completely forgot that I had a blog until someone asked me for this recipe. Hmmm, now that O is nearly 6 months old, it's time for an update I think! Anyway here is a delicious recipe that I made many times over the holidays for gatherings and such. The recipe is a single batch but I almost always doubled or tripled (for a large group) it.

You need:
A head of broccoli chopped into bite size pieces
1/2 c. raisins
1/4 c. red onion, chopped
2 TBL sugar
3 TBL white wine vinegar
1c. mayo
1c. walnuts, chopped
10 or so bacon slices, chopped

1) Cook and chop bacon, set aside
2) In a large bowl, toss broccoli, raisins, onion
3) In seperate bowl whisk sugar, mayo and vinegar. Pour over boccoli and gently toss to coat. Add bacon and nuts, toss.
4) Best when refigerated at least 2 hours.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Making Family Memories and Traditions at the near by Pumpkin Farm! Literally 5 minutes from our house tucked into a side road is this beautiful patch of land! I loved it! Definately getting our pumpkins from them as long as they are operating! We dont celebrate Halloween, so we try to celebrate Fall and all the beauty of the season. Grace had a blast at the farm, not that she smiled for any of the pictures here...
She loves animals on shows, or in books, or even youtube. But not in person. The farm had a hourse, ducks, chickens, sheep and goats. No way!! The only animal she liked and literally hugged onto was the family farm dog. errr "puuuuuppy!"

They had the cutest hay bail slide and she thought that was great.

So farm grandpa made this little truck. I have no idea who farm grandpa is, but we heard about him and saw him on the tractor giving rides. Again, such a sweet little farm!

Grace and Papa.
They are best buds. She adores him like non-other. Except maybe Grandma. Or Elmo. But Mom definately takes a back seat to Papa. Unless she's sick, then I get all that snot. Yay.

Me and my beautiful kids!


Orion's First Two Months

Oh My! I am WAY behind on my blog and with no shame, took a little hiadas with my busy two children, lack of sleep and crazy schedule. So here is an overload of precious little man pictures!

Bless this child and his arriving 5 days early! I am one of those moms now and am so thankful! I will post the birth story later on the other blog but to summarize he was born August 15 at 10:50am. I had another drug free delivery! :) He was 7lbs 10oz and 20inches long. He had a head full of dark hair and looks 100% like his Papa! Here is our first family of 4 photo. Grace was somewhat confused who he was but quickly had to get over that! By the way, she was 17 months here!!

Psalm 139 - You are Fearfully and Wonderfully Made my sweet boy!
A friend made this for me and I LOVE this photo. Here is his 10 day photos.

Grace is an awesome big sister. She immediately became consumed with where "baby" was at all times. We are still trying to work on calling him something other than Baby. Like Orion. Or Baby O, or I'd even be happy with O. But, no, that is baby.

I love those early days where they sleep and cuddle and smell so wonderful. He already looks so much different then his birth day.

Umm, this little man is a BOY! He needs a bath all.the.time! That head full of hair is quick to smell and turn into a grease ball. He HATED baths at first. And I mean hated, but after a few weeks he gave in and stopped freaking out.
1 month old and in 3-6mo clothes. Yep, that's my boy!

2 months

They are going to hate all the sibling pictures I pose them for. But I love them. :)

And this. Oh.My. Does this photo melt my heart and make me smile whenever I see it. He is such a happy, easy baby. Aside from the fact that he was born, started eating and hasnt stopped, he really is pretty laid back. His two month appt he was already a whopping 24.5inches (91%) and 12lbs 11 oz. (Ummm Grace didnt even weigh that at 4 months!)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

All Ready for Another Baby!

We finally made the big switch of bedrooms! This project took more time then we anticipated, but now that it is done, I LOVE it! I have said it before, but I so admire how my husband can make my visions come to life!

We completely overhauled the closet. Steve told me to design what I wanted and so on  notebook paper with various markers I created this and he made it.  I love how each has their own bar and shelf.

The only thing missing from this pic is the shelf and wall decor. That made it up today. Check out all my fancy diapers for two kids. I love cloth.

There were two things I always hated about our room. 1) We had a thermostat and never a heater. It was weird. But I HAD to have a heater in a room with babies. So Steve installed one. 2) We never had a wall mounted light. We used to have to plug in a lamp in one outlet only and that worked with the switch. (thats in the other bedroom too, maybe an 80's house design thing?) Either way, Steve added a wall light and it's pretty much amazing to not have to worry about Grace and that lamp. :)

And below is our room. Well soon to be. We are currently squished in the old nursery until this is dried in and we knock the wall down. It's a tight squeeze for now for sure. The further along this addition goes the more I can really envision our house. I am so excited!!

And on to the baby - and all the false hope I had this week. I went in for my 38 week appt on Tuesday and the midwife said she had a "strong feeling" it would be within the next 48 hours. I am just waddling around nearly 4cm and was having contractions while there. Soo, since Tuesday I have had off and on contractions and various forms of pain and will get somewhat excited, stops. So now Im 38w3d, contractions get stronger each day, then stop when I rest. Let me vent- WHO walks around 4cm for weeks? Seriously?!!? I know that means less work at the end but Im ready to be done! Okay, done whining....the next post will hopefully be about little man. :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Moving Along

Our addition is finally starting to really move along now! The foundation sure took a long time with the two sets of forms, inspections, concrete...but ahhh, it's done and the floor joists are waiting on an inspection this week and then it's go time! (well go until roof time, then the county will hold us up again.) Here is a picture I took the other day with the floor partially done.
* The wall with the window will come out - that is a current bedroom and will extend out. The chimney will be coming out too. A master bath will be added in the area closest in the photo. I CANT WAIT for a second bathroom!!!

36 weeks now.
I am ready to meet our little man. Well I am, the house is far from ready (their new room currently has no carpet, half finsihed closet, and us still in it. - But as my MIL reminded me, Jesus was born in a manger.) Adding an addition AND remodeling right now...I'm learning ultimate patience!
I wish I could be one of those moms who has a baby early, but let's face reality - I most likely wont. So Im just trying to make it through each day waiting for another 4 weeks. I can analyze and research every little sign and symptom (as if I havent dont this before..) but really, he will come when he's done and ready.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

4th of July

We took a trip to Pullman for the 4th this year. Our first official vacation as a family and traveling with Grace! We had so much fun! I was most worried about her sleeping since she has freedom in a toddler bed and we put her in a pack and play, but Steve ran her down and by the time she crashed she was out! :)
Grace and Hazel
Grace cant get enough of swinging

Grace became Papa's new BFF during this trip. Momma is old news.

My favorite from the trip. I love Grace and Papa pictures.

Family photo at the parade. I was 33weeks with Orion here and ready for him to come now!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Keeping Berries Fresh

This is genius, I had to share!

I love this time of year when berries start going on sale in the store (my strawberries are still green.) So when they are a great deal I snag up some. Yet, how many strawberries can one small family eat in a day before they go bad? And I feel bad giving Grace an overload of Vitamin C 3 times a day, even though she loves them.
The internet has amazing solutions!

To keep your berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc.) fresh WAY longer: mix 1 part White Vinegar and 10 parts water. (I did 1/2c Vin and 5c water), put berries in bowl, let sit for 5ish minutes. Strain and lay out to air dry. Then put either covered or uncovered in fridge. (Mine were good uncovered for 4-5 days!!) This doesnt affect the berries taste at all and it kills all the mold spores, etc on the fruit (which really, you should be killing anyway!)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

30 Weeks With Little Man and Home Projects

Baby Orion

30 weeks with Orion.
I cant wait to be done! Im not sure I am ready to have two kids under 18 months, but I am sure done with lugging this one around. He is SO much bigger than Grace was. Or at least I carried Grace more in my hips and wider, he is straight out belly. I also carried Grace high and he is obviously lower and therefore, already making me hurt. 10ish weeks to go! Yikes!

My Big Girl!

So...the toddler bed.
In my mom-mind, I wanted to switch her over in July (when she gets a new room) with this huge celebration of a "big girl bed" with fancy big girl sheets. Well I must have kept all this wonderfulness to myself because Papa decided to set it up Memorial Day. After 4 days, it was completely successful, and I am thankful that we didnt wait until July. (I ordered said fancy sheets that night though, just because.) It is wonderful and she is only now 15 months. I put her to bed/nap and she will sometimes get up and read her books for a bit, then crawl in bed on her own and go to sleep. I hear her wake up between 6-630am and then she again, sits and reads her books and doesnt start hollering for me until around 7. I am so thankful for that extra sleep right now! The crib is now ready for Orion to arrive.

Moving on to bigger changes going on....

We are in the process of adding on to our house. More babies = more room. The idea is to then switch the kids into the current master bedroom and our addition is off of Grace's room now. Much bigger room and a bathroom will be added. I am so excited!

The nice dirt hole dug out.

First set of forms built. We are getting cement this week.

And My Garden

One of my favorite things about my husband is how I can tell him some crazy idea in my head and he brings it to life. Here is my new greenhouse. Now, a few weeks in, my tomato, zucchini and pepper plants are loving their warm home!

I also have planted again this year - strawberries, green onion and carrots. My new additions are yellow onion, basil, cilantro, parsley and thyme. And again, my cucumber plant has already died. I am not sure on why all my others are thriving and I cant grow a cucumber. 4th plant in 3 years - I think I will give up on fresh cucumbers and enjoy my others.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Learning Colors!

Color Flashcards 
I cant take all the credit for this idea - I pretty much saw it somewhere on Pinterest. I thought it was a genius way to teach colors to Grace!
Since I am at Lowes all the time right now with us remodeling and adding on to our house, I am always in the paint section looking for ideas for the kids new room and our new room and bathroom. Those color cards are paint sample cards! I took one of each color, glued them onto cardstock and wrote the color name on the back. Punch a hole and clipped it on a ring. Grace absolutely loves these! (and if they are ruined, it's okay.)
Sometimes we just flip through them on the ring and say the colors, sometimes I show her the color and then the word, sometimes I take them off the ring and play "games". For instance,  I will show her two, ask which one is 'red' and now the majority of the time she grabs the correct card. She gets to keep it and we work our way through the pile. She may not be able to talk much yet, but she definately knows what we are saying! I am convinced Yellow is her favorite color too. Proof that you can take anything and make it educational and to her, fun times playing with Momma.

The internet is full of free coloring sheets! Once we introduced crayons it was over, she loves coloring. I like to find alphabet sheets or childrens Bible Story sheets. (Both give me something to talk about while making sure she doesn't eat the crayons!) My favorite part is when she is finished, she is so proud of her creation and carries it around showing whoever comes over. Her little are creations are my favorite decorations. :)

Toddler Painting

It was a beautiful day out again yesterday and I have been waiting for a good time to make these "paints" and let Grace play! Even though these are technically 'edible', they really aren't a snack or to be eaten. If she tasted it (which she did) it was okay, since it was all food. It actually tastes kind of strange, so she only tried it once.

Recipe: (Filled all 7 jars perfectly)
4.5 tbs sugar
3/4 c. corn starch
3/4 tsp salt
3 cups water
Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan and warm until it thickens, stirring so it doesnt become chuncky. Let it cool, divide into jars and add food coloring. That's it!

Ours became thicker as it cooled, so if it is too gooey, mix in a little water to be more paint-like. I liked the goo for Grace to experiment with. Surprisingly, nothing stained her skin. We tossed her in the bath immediately after we were done and it all came off.

We put her in the yard just for an easy clean up. I would really suggest doing this outside or in a contained area (high chair, empty bath tub, etc.) I gave her paper and a couple old paint brushes and let her go. (The food coloring didnt seem to stain her skin, but I didnt trust it on clothes, so diaper time it was! Disposable at that - I love my cloth prints too much to risk staining those a random color too!)

I am absolutely the parent that wants my kids to be kids. I want her to be "okay" with getting a bit messy sometimes. This paint goo was all over her hands, body and hair when we were done. (I'd show that adorable mess, but I dont put naked baby pics online.) She is a girl by all means. She would rather play with her purse, phone and babies instead of the trucks and balls. But she also loves to make a mess and get dirty. Let your kids explore!

The aftermath of art.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Edible Playdoh

Maybe it is the teacher in me, but I am so excited that Grace is at an age where I can really dive into educational playtime! I love finding ways to introduce her to new sensory learning - texture, tastes, motor skills, experiences - she has so much fun! I sometimes forget that she is only 14 months, but then at the same time, she is 14 months...never too early to learn and try new things!

Since she also likes to eat/taste absolutely everything still, I try to make many of the crafts edible if I can to prevent her from eating chemicals. I loved this recipe for edible playdoh and she ate a little and played a lot. She had fun learning how to squish it, pat it, tear it, make shapes and use cookie cutters in it.

Equal parts Peanut Butter, Honey and Instant Dry Milk.
Then add more dry  milk and flour to thicken it and make it less sticky to whatever consistency you like.
Make sure it is stored in an airtight container when not in use. I would toss and make new after a week or so.