Thursday, January 31, 2013

Month in Review

 So many friend have asked me how I'm adjusting to our new reality and how Matt is doing in school!  I thought it might be good, since this is a record of our daily life, to give a little month in update.  

I'll start by first saying Matt is going great in school.  For those that know him that is no surprise.  Matt is so smart and a great student.  He is very disciplined and definitely giving it 100%.  So far he's gotten all A's on all his tests!  Im praying hard that our kids take after him and are good students.  I'm a terrible student and always struggled in school.  

On the home front we are adjusting and enjoying having Matt around a lot more during the day!  When he was working he usually left before the boys and I got up for the day so we didn't see him til he got home around 6pm.  I love seeing him in the morning and I know the boys are loving seeing their daddy in the morning!

It's definitely an adjustment to him studying at night and on the weekend.  Thankfully he is really disciplined and still makes time for family.  

So far Matt is enjoying accounting.  My prayer over the next few months is that he would continue to love and do well in school!  I pray God would confirm this calling on his life!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Chicken Pot Pie

Not very much going on around here!  The boys are feeling better, thank goodness, and we are staying busy with preschool, the gym, and seeing friends.  

Last week I was meal planning and looking for a good new recipe.  I went to my trusted food blog and found this Chicken Pot Pie recipe.  I made it for dinner Monday night and it was out of this world good.  I've made CPP before but this one hit it out of the park.  It was SO good and amazing.  

I used frozen veggies so it was pretty easy to make.  Matt enjoyed it as well.  Of course Ryan wouldn't eat it but that's nothing new right!  Boy doesn't know what he's missing.  The rest of us loved it.  Matt had three helpings! 

It was amazing and I highly recommend it.  Definitely going in the dinner rotation!

Chicken Pot Pie

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast - cubed
1 (16oz) bag frozen carrots and peas
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
32 oz carton chicken broth for boiling (reserve 1 3/4 cups chicken broth for sauce)
2/3 cup milk
2 (9inch) unbaked pie crust

To keep the pie crust from getting soggy I back just the bottom of the crust before filling the pie.  Bake for 5-6 minutes at 425 degrees.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a pot, combine the raw chicken, carrots, peas, and celery.  Add the carton of chicken broth and cover and boil for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat, drain (reserving 1 3/4 cup chicken broth for filling and set aside.

In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent.  Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and celery seed.  Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk.  Simmer over medium-low heat until thick.  Remove from heat and combine with the chicken, carrots, peas, and celery mixture.  Here you can add more chicken broth if you like depending how runny you want your filling.

Place the chicken filling in bottom crust.  Cover with top crust, seal edge, and cut away excess dough.  Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.

Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly.  Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Monday, January 28, 2013

19 Months

Colton - You are 19 Months old!  
I cannot believe how fast you are growing!  Time needs to slow down!

You weigh 21 lbs and are 31 inches tall. 
You wear size 18 month clothes and some 18-24, a size 5 diaper and size 4.5 shoe

You continue to be a great eater.  You will eat almost anything.  You love your fruit the most.  

You are a great napper.  You take a 3 hour nap in the afternoon.  

You sleep great at night. You go to bed around 7:30 and wake between 7:30-8am.  

You have the best personality and everyone loves you so much.  All the workers at church just love you and you love to give them cuddles.  You are so lovable and adjust so easy.  You have the cutest and sweetest personality.  You are going to be a little ham.  You are full of personality.  

You are entering the terrible two's! Fun!  You aren't too terrible just yet but there are definitely times when you don't get your way and you throw a fit.  Thankfully you are fairly easy to discipline right now.  You are very tenderhearted like Ryan and all I have to say is a firm "NO" and you stick out your bottom lip, looking so sad, and bring on the tears.

You babble and talk all the time.  You don't say many words but you are very vocal.  You will mimic many words after us but you usually only say them once. ha!  I'm sure the words will come soon.

You love to read books.  You will bring me book after book to read to you.  You love to turn the pages and point to things on the page.  I hope you always love to read.

You have been under the weather for the last 3-4 days.  You want me to hold you 24/7.  You will play for about a minute but come back quickly and crawl up in my lap.  I love to hold you but you need to develop some independence and play on your own too.  

You love and look up to Ryan so much.  You try to do everything he does.  You love to run around with him, chase him and laugh together.  I pray you will always love him and look up to him and be the best of friends.  

Colton, you are the sweetest joy and we love you so much!

Saturday, January 26, 2013


This poor little fella has been sick the last two days!  He started with a runny nose and now has a little cough!  He started running a fever last night so I called the doctor this morning to take him in just to make sure it wasn't his ears.  Low and behold his ears were clear.  She went ahead and did a flu test since it wasn't his ears and Matt had the flu a few weeks ago.  Sure enough it came back negative.  A good thing, however, it means he has a viral cold and it just has to run its course.  Fun! 

He took an epic five hour nap this afternoon! I'm sure it was much needed.  Praying he feels better very soon and the rest of us stay well!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sweet boys and pillows

These two cute boys are so funny.  They love to chase each other around the house and just laugh so hard.  They are at such a fun age and I love that they love each other. 

This morning I had Mops and it was so refreshing and good for my soul.  We are reading this book called "Great Mom Raising Great Kids".  So far it's a great book.  

 I found these adorable new pillows at Hobby Lobby a few weeks ago and I love them.  They were only $6.99 for the pillow cover and I just used the pillow inserts I already had!  Perfect! 

I decided to do the blue chevron on the couch and the green chevron on the loveseat.  I finally bought some burlap drapes for the family room weeks ago.  I'm hoping to hang them up soon!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Oven Baked Stew

One of my favorite food bloggers lately has been  I have made several of her recipes and have loved them all.  My friend Laura told me she made this Oven Baked Stew last week and it was a hit with her whole family and so good.  I knew I had to try it this week.  We had it for dinner tonight and it was ah-mazing!

It was easy and so delicious.  Definitely going in the dinner rotation.

Oven Baked Stew 

1 (1 ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 lbs lean beef stew meat cut into bite size pieces.
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
6 boiling onions or regular onions cut into 2 inch chunks
6 carrots cut into 1 inch piece (or baby carrots can be used)
1 (14.5 ounce) can cream of celery soup
1/2 cup ketchup

- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- In a large ziploc bag combine onion soup mix, salt, paprika, and stew meat.  Shake until well coated.  Place seasoned meat in a covered baking dish.
- Arrange potatoes, onions, and carrots on top of meat.
- In a small bowl combine cream of celery and ketchup.  Pour mixture over meat and vegetables (I know it sounds weird but it is so good).
- Cover and bake for 2 hours @ 325 degrees. Garbish with parsley if desired.

- Slow cooker instructions: prepare as directed above but cook in slow cooker on low for 4-6 hours or until potatoes are fork tender.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Just Some Randoms

So yesterday Matt didn't have class since it was a holiday.  We loved having him home all day and hanging out when he wasn't studying.  We enjoyed an afternoon family snack time with some popcorn.    Fun times!

Today was Little Gym day for Colton and it was "Show Day" where the kids show off all the cool things they have done throughout the semester.  It was really cute.  They got to climb up on the "podium" and get their medal!  Cutest thing ever!

Colton loves his teacher Ms. Kate and checking out his new medal.  He has learned so much in Little Gym and I'm thankful we got to spend this one on one time together.  We are doing the same class this semester so it will be fun.  

Ryan got this shiner under his right eye at the gym yesterday.  When I went to pick him up the whole side of his face was red.  He wasn't crying and said it didn't hurt so I guess it looks worse than it really is.  Not really sure how it happened but he said something about playing in the maze play place so I'm guessing he fell on a corner or something.  

This sweet little boy helped me grocery shop after Little Gym.  He was like an adult going grocery shopping when your hungry.  He wanted everything he laid his eyes on. The goldfish snack I had was not satisfying his hunger! Ha!

And lastly I made these adorable strawberry cookies for a friend of a friend having a strawberry shortcake party.  So fun!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Weekend Wrap-up

 We had such a fun weekend.  Friday night we had a date night with our small group.  It was so nice to get out without the kiddos and enjoy adult conversations.  

Saturday was absolutely beautiful.  It's been gray and gloomy the last few days so it was so nice to see some sunshine.  I am itching for some spring weather.  I'm counting down the days til spring is here.  I can't wait to not have to bundle up everyone and go outside to play.  

Saturday night we joined a big group of friends to celebrate my friend Laura's birthday.  I'm sad I didn't get any pictures but we had the best time.  We laughed so much and just had a great time.  It was so fun and I'm so thankful to my sweet in-laws who came over to watch the boys while we went out.  

Sunday was just a nice relaxing day.  We went to church and came home for lunch and naps.  

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Say Cheese

We've had a great day!  This morning I dropped Ryan off at school and Colton and I headed to his 18 month photo session.  I love our photographer and even when the boys are melting down and I don't think there is any possible way she got good pictures she always comes through and gets the best pictures.  

We had a little mixup today because I thought we were meeting at her house and she thought we were meeting at my house.  Oops!  We ended up going to Krohn Conservatory.  I think it actually worked out better because Colton just walked around exploring everything.  I think Amy got some great pictures and I can't wait to see them.  

We came home and ate lunch and played a little before nap time.  They boys were being so silly and laughing.  They love playing together!  They fight a lot but they really love each other. 

I know this pic of Ryan is blurry but it's so cute I couldn't resist sharing.

I knew I had to make 2 dozen cookies this afternoon so I told myself I would use nap time to finish my cookies and not workout.  I put the boys down for their nap and set to work.  

I kept thinking that I needed to workout so I finished up the cookies and jumped on the treadmill about 4.  I ran about 3 miles and so glad I did.  It felt so good to get cookies done so I'm not up late tonight doing them and I got my workout in.  Win Win!  

I love this sweet cheesy boy.  He is saying and learning so many new things these days.  He loves to ask questions and wants to know how everything works.  He is growing up so fast and as he likes to say he's "SO big".  

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

S'mores Cookies

I made these AMAZING S'mores cookies the other night for our small group.  I was craving some s'mores and these did not disappoint.  The recipe is from one of my favorite food blogger   I bet they would be really good with reece cups.

S'mores Cookies

11 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup mini marshmellows
3 regular sized Hershey's bars, broken into pieces
1-2 packages graham crackers, broken into squares

- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, sea salt and cinnamon to combine.  Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter with white and brown sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter mixer and combine on low speed.
- Fold in the chocolate chips and marshmallows.  Chill dough in refrigerator for 1 hour to overnight (I did one batch right away and another after chilling overnight and found there was no difference.)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Line backing pans with parchment paper.  I used two 11x17 pan but you can really use any size pan you want.
- Lay out graham crackers side by side on the pans as close as possible (they should be touching).  I used 16 graham crackers according to how much dough you have.  If you want your cookies thicker you will use more dough and less graham crackers.
- Place tablespoons of dough on graham crackers about 1 - 1 1/2 inches apart.  Press down slightly with fingertips.
- Bake for 5 minutes then remove from oven to press Hershey's bar pieces on to the top.  You can place as many pieces or as little as you want depending how much chocolate flavor you want.
- Bake for an additional 7-8 minutes or more if your cookies are thicker.  They will be done when the edges begin to turn golden brown.  Remove to a wire rack to cool.  For clean cutting make sure cookies are completely cool and cut with a sharp knife.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Hearts and Weight Loss

 I feel like I've got lots of projects going on around the house!  Maybe I'm looking at Pinterest too much but I love finding new with inexpensive ways to decorate or organize your home.  I found this beautiful felt valentine's wreath last year and knew I wanted to try it this year.  I couldn't wait to put my Christmas stuff away so I could get started on the wreath.  

I went to Hobby Lobby to gather all my supplies: an 11inch styrofoam wreath, some red felt and lots of pins.  All you do is cut out 2 inch diameter circles of felt.  Take a circle and fold it in half.  Then fold it again.  It should be in the shape of a cone now.  Take a straight pin and place it in the bottom corner of the cone.  Then pin it to your wreath.  It's very easy!  You just start pinning and see if you need more space between circles or closer together.  It takes a lot of circles but is so pretty and fun when you finish!  

So in the last year I've lost about 35 pounds.  A lot of people have noticed my weight loss and ask me what I'm doing and how i've lost so much weight.  This picture is right after I gave birth to Ryan.  Definitely my highest weight and a number I never want to see again!  

I started weight watchers right before I got pregnant with Colton.  I continued somewhat while I was pregnant knowing that I wanted to watch my portion sizes.  I lost the baby weight after Colton when he was about four months old but then I just hit a wall.  I couldn't lose any more.  So last January I decided to get serious about WW and really count every single point that I ate.  WW has helped me so much.  It helps me stay accountable and know the right portion size.  I like that you can eat anything just in moderations.  I do WW online and I love that.  I can keep track of my points online and even get great recipes.  

I have gone the the gym regularly for many years now.  I worked out during both pregnancies and of course after.  I love going to classes at the gym.  I go to circuit resistance training and I LOVE it. I stay motivated by the people in the class.  It's such a great total body workout.  On the days I don't go to the gym I run on the treadmill downstairs.  I used to loathe running but now I kinda like it.  I think the important thing is starting slow and just keep going.  

I stay motivated to workout because I've made it a part of my daily life.  I like a schedule and I like my days to be predictable.  Most of my weeks look the same so I have certain days I do the same fitness class then on the off days I run.  Many days I don't want to workout but I don't give myself the option to not workout.  It's a discipline and I know it's just something I have to do.  

Monday, January 14, 2013


 Some days things just don't go as planned!  This morning I got up and ready for the gym.  I planned on us going to the gym then we were meeting some friends at CFA for lunch.  Well half way to the gym Colton got sick in the backseat of the car.  Awesome!  I didn't hear it or see it so I have no clue why but it was everywhere! Ugh!  It's one of the worst things about parenting.  I don't know if he chocked or maybe just got car sick.  Thank goodness Matt was still home so he helped me clean things up.

I was really frustrated.  I had these expectations of what my day was going to look like and it changed in a millisecond.  I don't do well when plans change.  Thankfully Colton has been fine the rest of the day!  We still had lunch with our friends and I was able to workout during the boys nap time.  I didn't get the five dozen cookies baked that I really needed to but there is always tomorrow.  

God is teaching me that I need to be more flexible and not so uptight.  Sometimes expectations aren't met and I need to remember that is still part of God's plan.  Thank you Lord that tomorrow is a new day!