Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Menu-Plan Monday ... on Tuesday (June 30-July 6)

I love planning things. Especially when food is involved. I was doing really good about planning our weekly menu, cutting back on our eating out and sticking to our food budget for the first few months of the year. Then we joined the Y and we were getting home later (with less time to cook), we went on two trips within 3 weeks of each other, and we just generally got busy with lots of activities.

I am trying to get back on track and I need some accountability via this blog. So, each Monday, I am going to post our menu plan for the week. (This will work well since I typically grocery shop on Tuesday after work.) I will try to post any recipe worthy of sharing along the way.

My goal with the menu planning is to:
(1) stay within our grocery budget
(2) eat healthier
(3) eat out less
(4) reduce my stress related to feeding my family
(5) try new recipes

Tuesday: Turkey burgers, chips, baked beans

Wednesday: Apricot chicken w/rice and steamed broccoli or asparagus (from E-Mealz)

Thursday: Date night! Will and I are going out and the kids can eat leftover chicken pot pie.

Friday: July 4th cookout with my family. I am responsible for steaks and chicken, garlic mashed potatoes, blackberry cobbler and Sangria.

Saturday: Picnic dinner to watch fireworks at local park ... we will probably pick up sandwiches at Jersey Mike's (we have a BOGO coupon).

Sunday: Lunch-leftover buffet (this is Will's favorite meal ... NOT); Dinner-cookout with friends. I am making hamburgers, hot dogs and banana split brownie for dessert.

Monday: grilled salmon (already marinated from Costco), wild rice and steamed veggies

Sew What?: June

I have sewn a lot this month, but don't seem to have much to show for it!

This quilt top is finally finished (it has been sewn together even thought it is not in the picture). Now I just need to quilt it, back it and bind it, all of which I have never done before and I'm a little nervous about doing. Yikes! Well, baby Jacob has arrived and he needs his blanket so I am going to try and suck it up and do it this weekend.

These girls belong to my friend Krystie and they are modeling the Caroline dresses that Krystie made when we sewed together a few Saturdays ago. Looks like the little one had some strawberries for lunch!

This is the Caroline dress I made for a friend's baby gift. It's a size 0-12M so it's tiny!

I made this top for Claire LAST YEAR and I finally got around to making her some matching pants. Of course, now the top is a little too short so I am going to have to add a ruffle to the bottom after it comes out of the wash. The pants are my favorite little ruffle capri from Portabello Pixie. You can't really tell, but the pants fabric has tiny pink shimmer dots on it.

This little outfit is the Children's Corner Morgan pattern. I am embarrassed to say that I cut this out in March 2008 to make a birthday gift for a friend's daughter and I never got around to sewing it up. In my defense, I was 8 months pregnant at the time. I decided to finish it thinking I would give it to a friend with a younger child since it is size 24M, but when I finished, it looked huge. I tried it on Claire and it still fit. Yeah! I had to shorten the straps on this pattern quite a bit so maybe I measured wrong?? Please note that this is not the most "potty" friendly outfit, but it sure is cute!

I have deemed July the month of the quilt. I have 4 quilts in progress now and I am bound and determined to finish them next month.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Weekend at Meme & Poppy's house

Will and I took and "mommy & daddy" trip to Vegas earlier this month and Claire went to Meme & Poppy's house for the weekend. {David stayed with Will's parents.} Claire's cousin Evie came to Meme and Poppy's house too and they had a grand old time.

Friday included a picnic lunch from Sonic.

After lunch, the girls played in the fountain. Apparently, they got naked and played in the fountain after this picture was taken. I am not going to post those pictures on the Internet, but I will save them for the WEDDING VIDEO!

Friday night, there was another picnic at a local park. After dinner, everyone hit the playground.

Saturday, they went to a local fountain park, where the girls obviously had a BLAST! Here they come, running through the water spray.

Sunday, after church, Claire got to see Evie's first dance recital. It was all Claire talked about for days! Looks like I better start looking into dance lessons for Miss Claire. She keeps telling me that she wants to be a ballerina when she grows up, so I am thinking that will probably require some ballet lessons.

I hope that Meme & Poppy have recovered from their very busy weekend! I'm thankful that we have both sets of grandparents close by to help out with the kiddos when Will and I need a little getaway.

a VERY BUSY Weekend

Claire has turned into quite the little artist. All she wants to do it paint! These pics are from painting with Will while I was at a baby shower on Thursday night.

Painting in the garage.

Nice t-shirt smock. I'm pretty impressed that Will even thought to put anything on her ... or took any pictures of the whole process. Go Daddy!

Friday morning. Claire and I got up and made these muffins ... from scratch. If you like orange, these muffins are for you. If not, you probably won't like them. Claire has become quite the kitchen helper lately. We have almost got stirring without spilling down pat.

We took them to my friend Ginger's house for brunch and a play date with her boys (who are 8, 8 and 5). I'm going to hire the twins to be my mother's helpers. They were great playing with both kiddos while Ginger and I got to visit.

After nap time on Friday, I let both kids finger paint, but David wasn't interested. He put hand in paint, hand on paper and then hand in mouth. So, I quickly cleaned him up and sent him on his way. Claire had a great time of course.

Okay ... if I was a really good photographer, I would have focused on Claire's hand and the background (including her) would have been blurry. But, I'm not. But, I'm trying to improve my skills. Too bad I have constantly moving targets! (and I was trying to keep David out of the paint!)

Saturday involved hanging around the house and doing a few long overdue chores ... like hanging new light fixtures we bought months ago. I'll post pics once we get them all up.

Sunday, we headed to church and then to the annual West Class Sizzling Summer party. It was definitely sizzling hot!

Here is my attempt to get a picture of the kids in their matching crab outfits after church. Let me just tell you, David does not like it when you make him sit down.

So we tried to get a picture standing up. Then, he just kept running towards me to get my camera.

Sunday afternoon, Claire watched a quick Hello Kitty movie before her nap. After lunch, she told me that she wanted to go watch her movie and that she wanted some popcorn. After it was over, she came and told me that her movie was over, but that she had not finished her popcorn so she needed to watch "one more movie." Nice try cutie-pie! Time for a nap!

Sadly, I did not take any pictures at the class party on Sunday night. Just to give you a visual, there were about 40 kids playing on 3 different water slide inflatables, a kiddie pool and a swing set. Apparently, my kids go into automatic meltdown mode when we are at a church function. They finally recovered and got some good play time in during the last half of the party. Oh, and I think we ate some food too.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dental Hygiene 101

Claire took her first visit to the dentist today. I'm not going to lie, I was fully prepared for her to have a cavity since she (1) eats a piece of candy every night after dinner and (2) Will is not very diligent about helping her brush her teeth (he gets her ready for bed every night). Well, and (3) I'm not sure how much my nanny helps Claire brush her teeth on the mornings that she gets is her ready.

Pediatric dentists are the BEST! The waiting room was like an arcade. The kids loved riding the whale.

When they finally called us back, Claire hopped up into the chair like a pro. NOTE: she can be bribed with a Dora toothbrush! The hygienist brushed and flossed her teeth. So far, so good!

YEAH! NO CAVITIES! We got the stamp of approval from Dr. King. On a side note, Dr. King's father, also Dr. King, was my dentist growing up. I didn't know this until after I had scheduled Claire's appointment.

I must say, even with a cranky little brother in tow, I think this little outing went better than we could have imagined. But, I'm glad we don't go back for another 6 months!

I finally got around to a little digital scrapbooking

I have been up until the wee hours of the morning this week doing some online tutorials to learn how to better use my Photoshop program for digital scrapbooking. I am proud to say that I finally finished a page. Yeah!

This is from Father's Day 2008. David was only 2 months old! He has grown so much since then!

I copied this page from the sample in the digital kit, but I did manage to get every element on the page all by myself. Now I'm off to take a nap!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sewing pattern "wins" and "woes"

Pattern woes: Ever since I found Darby's blog and read this post, I have been hunting for this pesky little Simplicity pattern that is apparently no longer in print.

My friend Colleen tried to buy a copy on Ebay and she was outbid at the last second. (Don't you hate it when that happens.) We have looked everywhere to no avail. I've even called sewing shop owners that I know to see if they might have it in their personal stash. No. Such. Luck.

On to the pattern wins: In my search for the Simplicity pattern, I ran across this pattern over at Mindy's website.

The Caroline dress. How cute is that!

My friend Krystie came over to sew on Saturday afternoon, and we had three dresses finished in about 4 hours. (She has 2 girls and I made a dress for my niece.) This pattern is super-cute (ranging in size from 0-12M to size 8) and super-easy to make. I should be able to crank out the next one in about an hour now that I know that pattern. This will be a perfect "nap time" sewing project for me!

Monday, June 22, 2009

A few Father's Day pics!

Will with the kids after church ... getting ready to watch some U.S. Open golf ... a Father's Day tradition at our house.

Will and our kids with my brother-in-law Jon and my nephew & niece ... a Sunday evening Father's Day cookout.

Poppy with all the grandkids. My, he has his hands FULL!

Poppy with his girls!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

To all the men we love ... Happy Father's Day!

A day to celebrate all the special men in our lives. This is why we love them (top 5 things).

Why we love Daddy:
1. He is calm and even tempered.
2. He lets us watch "Phineas & Ferb" before bedtime.
3. He plays tackle with us.
4. He gets up to check on the kids when they wake up at night, while mommy pretends that she is still asleep.
5. He works very hard to provide for his family.

(Will's dad)

Why we love Didi:
1. He preaches THE WORD (and doesn't get distracted when we yell at him from the congregation).
2. He loves technology gadgets.
3. He takes us to McDonald's all the time.
4. He can grill a good hamburger, hot dog or steak.
5. He sings really loud.

(my dad)
Why we love Poppy:
1. He captures every moment of our family's life on video tape.
2. He recycles.
3. He would bend over backwards to help someone in need.
4. He only wears shoes when required.
5. He never says "no" to us (or anyone for that matter).

Monday, June 8, 2009

Belated birthday party pictures

I have finally managed to post some pictures of the kids' birthday parties.

After 2 years of planning to have Claire's mid-April birthday outside and having to move it inside at the last minute due to bad weather, we finally planned her birthday inside ... at an indoor playground. The only thing missing was the swings! All of the kids had a great time!

Here is Claire with her Dora cake.

And playing on the playground.

And blowing out her candles while her friends sing "Happy Birthday".

Here are some of the daddies at the party. Will with friends Hunter and Ty. {I am posting this picture just to prove that Will was there ... I think this is the only picture I snapped of him.}

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Here is a group photos (minus Cole who had to leave early and the two little kids-David and Ian). Can you believe I got seven 3-year-olds and two 7-year-olds to sit still for a picture? I was SHOCKED. They must have been in a sugar coma.

Here is Claire opening gifts at our house after the party. Princess Evie is supervising.

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David's birthday party was immediately after Claire's party just to accommodate family who was already in town {and contain all the party craziness in one day}. We put the inflatable up in the back yard for the older kids.

It was mostly family at David's party, but this is David's little buddy Hylton (they were born 10 days apart and Hylton's mommy & daddy are some of our bestest friends). David was thrilled that he came to the party. Actually, he was just mad that I made him sit down for a photo. Whatever the reason, this photo cracks me up!

Time for cake. David in his party hat.

Blow out the candle ... he was not too sure what to think.

Let's get MESSY!

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David opening gifts. He got the chair from Will and I to match his big sister's chair.
A bunch of random family photos that were taken at David's party follows.
RiRi and DiDi
A family shot ... my kids were not being cooperative for the photos on that day. At all!
Meme and Poppy
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My sister's kids on the two ends. Ian was NOT happy about taking his pacifier out of his mouth for this picture.
I love this picture. I looks like David is thinking ... "there. that will shut him up."