Thursday, December 1, 2011

He's Baaack....

Let me introduce you to this feisty little guy.... Chippy. This guy only makes an appearance after our house is nice and festive for the Christmas season. Even though the kids don't really do the whole Santa experience, they certainly love looking forward to seeing what Chippy is up to next. It's always a race to see who can spot the clever one first. Last night, the Chipmister decided to heckle a bit by marking up some family photo's. This guy- what a piece of work.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tis the season

This weekend following the Thanksgiving festivities we worked on getting all of the Christmas decorations up. As the tiny one's are getting older, they are able to help out more with the whole experience. You can see their contributions to the family tree (notice all of the ornaments bunched in clusters!) We have several on a few branches to add to the beauty of it all.... but it's our tree and as much as I wanted to move things around, I held myself back and left it as is. These 2 in particular are mighty proud of their hard work. Today, I found the above when I came around the corner. It's like looking up at the stars, only indoors-- any way you slice it, it's a super special time of year.

Home on the range

Zack has been really enjoying 2nd grade this year. He has recently spent a lot of time learning about different tribes of Indian's and the details of where they live, what they ate, how they traveled, the weather condition's of their homestead's etc. He worked very hard on his home made of twigs!

Wordless Wednesday

Friday, November 18, 2011

Five on Friday- Thanksgiving Menu style

It's Friday- and you know how we do-- link up time to my pal Leigh. This week she is featuring Thanksgiving Recipes. What a great idea-- just in time for the big day next week.

We (as a family) always seem to struggle with the whole menu on Thanksgiving day.My grandma used to cook "every one's favorite, or 2 sides" for Thanksgiving-- and if you add that up with lots of folks in the family: it meant many hours in the kitchen, many items left over, and many pennies spent for one meal. I have tons of memories from growing up helping Grandma in the kitchen with all of her secret recipes that she started days before the big day. For the past 8 years or so I have been hosting Thanksgiving for our extended family. I enjoy all of the cooking and family fellowship-- however, the waste is just not in our core family values- so each year, the Mr. and I reel in the menu to narrow it down- it gets easy to get carried away with so many tasty options out there- and try to be diligent to focus on the meaning of the holiday... giving thanks for our blessings, spending time with loved ones, and of course wearing pants that "give" to the dinner table :)

1)Dressing- Delish. We typically only have this on Thanksgiving in our house, and it is definitely a crowd pleaser. It just says Thanksgiving dinner to me.

1 large bowl of dried white bread cubes
Saute 1 Stick of butter with 3 Stalks of Chopped Celery, 2 small Onions chopped, Salt &Pepper
Pour Butter, Celery & Onion mixture over bread cubes
Add 1-2 Tsp of Poultry Seasoning to Bread, Butter, Celery & Onion Mixture
Add 1 Quart Boiling Water and mix together well.
Bake @ 350 for 30 minutes

2)Deep-Fried Cranberry Sauce Fritters- Just for kicks I had to add this.... Let me start by saying I have never made this before. We typically stick to the original cranberry sauce- and it is a staple for all Thanksgiving happenings around this house (and is particularly good the day after on a turkey roll as left overs. Don't knock it until you try it!), so I found it important to include cranberry in this listing of all things Thanksgiving meal worthy. My girl Paula has taken the ol'cranberry up a notch -- going straight from something turkey related to fair food related in the blink of an eye...Deep-Fried Cranberry Sauce. I would never, ever eat this- unless you want to try it! (right, Honey?!)

3) Macaroni & Cheese- This recipe comes from another one of my favorite's Ree. This girl has got it going on and never disappoints with her recipes. I have used many different home maid recipes for the mac&cheese over the course of a decade learning my way around the kitchen- but this one is a favorite.
4) Apple pie- Just because I love all things apple and it says Fall to me. I should have probably picked Pumpkin Roll... because it too is delish- and something we have for Thanksgiving, but apple is where its at for this ol'girl. I made this following our apple picking trip, and trust me it will not disappoint.

5) Chocolate Chess Pie- Because it doesn't feel like Thanksgiving unless this treat hits the table.

So, that about rounds up some things the OurLifeFull (as in full bellies this time!) finds ourselves feasting on Thanksgiving. Of course nothing healthy made it on the top 5 list-- but they definitely make it on the menu. You know, the usual suspects for veggies and of course the bird... but never have I heard my family say, "those green beans were awesome", or "you rocked that corn and butter bean dish"... it just doesn't happen- let's face it, they are the takenforgranted menu members. Ah for shame.
A sweet friend of mine informed me about a great opportunity to serve the community this Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, Our plans don't sync up- but most definitely next year I am going to start that as a new tradition for our family. It looks wonderful and I can't wait to learn more about it. In the meantime, happy planning to you!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

God gave me you....

God gave me you for the ups and downs....

God gave me you for the days of doubt
And for when I think I have lost my way, God gave me you.
-Blake Shelton lyrics
I happen to really enjoy that song- it's a little catchy. But when I think about some of the words, It reminds me of these 2 in a different way. I love how God created within them a special bond that no one else understands like they do. It is precious and special. But catching them all hugged up today- was a sweet sight for this momma's eyes.

Wednesday:Week in Rewind

For this Wednesday, I thought I would go back and revisit our happenings from last week. We kicked the week off with the tiny's very first go at hot cocoa. They wanted it with the fixin's, so I channeled my inner Starbuck's self and whipped up the below. The princess loved it... like slurped the whole thing down, loved it. The rockstar one found it to be too hot and never went back for it. He's too busy to slow down and smell the chocolate!
Tuesday we had our Mops harvest party- and the kids loved it. They made a turkey pumpkin craft, a thanksgiving foam craft, and decorated sugar cookies to look like turkey's. Can't you see the turkey below? Squint real hard! My musically inclined little fellow had a blast. He is definitely the creative one out of the duo.
We made a trip to the park- on quite a chilly day I might add. But they had a blast until the princess one hit the mud- that was the ender. That and the fact that she got to see a "princess getting a married ring". (Ie a wedding was happening and she peeped the bride during the ring portion of the ceremony.)

We worked on getting ready for winter. The rockstar's comment to the overstuffed princess- "you look awesome". I've heard that we are going to have a pretty decent amount of snowfall predicted this year.... has anyone else heard this as well?
The little one's have spent a good amount of time building blocks and playing their new favorite game. Hide 'n seek. We actually played as a whole family last night and the kids had a blast.

We finished up our week with an awesome weekend. We got a surprise visit from Ga-Ga and Pop-pop. We got to go out to dinner with them and had a breakfast treat, and even got a date night! It was a great surprise to spend some quality time and a real treat to share some popcorn with the hubs over a movie.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Five on Friday

Today I am linking up with my gal, Leigh from A Boy, His girls, a big dog & a house for her 5 on Friday. This week's topic is 5 things I would change about my house. And as much as I am working on being completely thankful for where we are and the blessings we have, there are some things that I would change about our current living situation if I were doing it over it again, had ton's of funds and am totally dreaming here.... So with that, here goes this week's dream list.
1) A Mud Room of sorts.... You know some where, where we all have little coves for our personal daily stuff (coat or shoes or baseball hat or princess wand- you know, the necessities.) that can stay nice and orderly with easy access.

2) More land! ... this is a definite. A place where we can spread out, run wild, catch fireflies, play baseball, camp out in a tent, and look up at the stars- in our pj's, without the neighbors to get all nervous about about the random family roasting marshmallow's in their footy pjamer's.

3) A place for kids : Playroom, school room, and later turned hang out spot for teenyboppers. A gathering place where kids can create and explore and every single thing has a spot or home- that is labeled (ok, so that last place is just a little bit of the organizing maniac that lives inside of my head. But if we are dreaming, why not!)
4) More closet space. For Me.And for the love of my life. And for the little tiny princess that lives here. We all could use the space. And as mentioned in #3, organized that looks like something as delicious as this.
5) And this space. I mean, hello- where have you been all of my life? This space speaks to me, like sweet little nothings that make you all mushy inside. I can totally picture myself right there on that seats with a nice cup of coffee with my lovebug by my side and maybe my barking dog at my feet.
So, that's my "dream" house in a nutshell. It was fun to think of these, but honestly-- we are blessed beyond measure for what we have today. Happy day-dreaming to you!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankful Thursday

please forgive the poor quality of the photo's... they were captured by the ol'beendroppedtoomanytimes blackberry.
For thankful Thursday I am thankful for so many things in my life. For God's grace, for a job for my husband, for healthy children.... I could be here all day with my list-- and I have really enjoyed our Thankful cards that we are doing each day as well. We have had some highlights from the kids- namely Zack : Jesus dying for our sins, and for dad letting him play baseball. Or there is the Princess who trying to be "happy for" makeup each day or her flipflops (just like her mama), but has managed to squeeze in some good ones- mainly daddy or her book of Jesus and the Bible. Then there is the Rockstar who is thoughtful in his 2.5 years- he has given a shout out for his "tag"(tie), his cousin Chris, his daddy (a bunch), his buddy Mia... Basically each day it is someone he cares about. Sweet boy.
For me, though- I heard the sweetest, unprompted little conversation today between the girl and boy- " Are you my DF (ie BF, best friend)?" , "Yes, bubbie- all the days I am your DF", "I loves you." , "I loves you too- now let's hide from Mommy... hurry, hurry". And then I found them... all tucked away in corner of the playroom- giggling, thinking that they would never be found. I'm completely Thankful-thankful that they love each other and I pray they will forever be 'DF's".

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thankful Thursday

This year we are changing up our normal Thankful tree for November - I decided to do Thankful cards, same concept- just more room to write! My plans are to capture 1 thing that each member of our family is thankful for for each day in the month of November. At the end of the month I am going to put them in a book to keep and each year we will add to it. It will be a great way to capture all of the things we are thankful for each day, see them as we go throughout the years, and see how the handwriting (and spelling) changes for the kids as they grow. This year I am filling in for the tiny ones, although the contribute by drawing a picture on the back of each card. I write exactly what they tell me... for example on the first day the princess was thankful for makeup.... Yes, you read that right. But they are getting better-- today (day 3) the princess is thankful for painting with her daddy and the rock star is thankful for his friend Mia and his daddy. Sweet.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Crazy Bus

This morning the kids and I headed out to Club Mom. They always love to go-- they get yummy breakfast, some entertainment, and loads of kids to watch. This morning was no different... I love to go because I can score coupons for free meals for the kids at Qdoba- love! This morning the entertainment was Silly Bus. I used to work with one of the Silly Bus guys prior to my gig of SAHM, so it was great to see the kids really loving on the SB songs. The kids danced, and giggled, and twirled, and jumped- they had a great time, and they loved singing along to "crazy bus guy". It was a fun little morning out.

Fall Festival 2011

Ride'm cowboy! This year Luke and Bella decided to be a cowboy and cowgirl. I use the term loosely because in the eleventh hour, they wanted to be superhero's. I pressed forward with our plan, as all of the accessories were purchased at this point... cowboy hats, boots, and you can't forget a pony on a stick.... which by the way, was not very fun to lug around the fall festival. Our church always does an amazing job with the Fall Festival and this year was no different.... however the weather had different plans. There were tons of inflatables, rock climbing walls, obstacle courses, pony rides, and train rides that were left lonely outside during the rain. However inside, the fun did not disappoint! There was free food, candy, tons of games, bounce houses, inflatable slides- and the most exciting thing-- so many new faces from the community. It was such an awesome experience to see so many people coming in out of the rain, enjoying themselves and hopefully some hearts pricked to learn more about our church. With that being said, there were tons of people... and little miss Bella is a chip off the ol' daddy block and doesn't particularly enjoy crowds-- so we headed out after a while to go home and unwind from such an exciting time. The highlight? Getting to spend some much needed time with my bro... the kids and I loved hanging out with him.
You can tell in this pic, Bella is clinging to Uncle R due to the crowds.

Here they all are, in from the rain and post sugar rush!

Monday, October 31, 2011

It's the great pumpkin

This weekend we decided that we would paint the pumpkins that Luke and Bella got from
the pumpkin patch, when we visited with friends a couple of weeks ago. The kids loved spending
some craft time with Daddy and painting up some funny faces on their pumpkins. It was a great
afternoon activity on such a chilly weekend. We followed up our pumpkin experience with
The Pumpkin Patch Parable, that I read to the kids. It was so cute to hear them try to "read" it back to each other afterwards.

Bunk Beds

Bunk beds at it's finest.
These two love to play in Zoey's bed. Friday they decided to test out the bunk bed option. Today, Bella-grace loaded up all of her favorites and snuggled in tight, while Luke made himself comfy with a pillow (a book) and a cozy blanket. I'm not sure the appeal, but these two were giggling for well over 30 minutes as they set this up, you can see the joy in baby girl's cheeks in the above photo.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Five on Friday

Today I am linking up with my good friend, Leigh. She does a great job every week with her Fab Five on Friday, so today I thought I would join in.... since it is talking about one of my favorito topics... traveling. Prior to having the twins, I did a lot of traveling-- some for work, some for play. I always enjoyed the whole experience of seeing new places, trying to see how quickly I could make it through an airport (that was always a personal game of mine), trying new things, and really seeing how other's around the globe live. I have gone as far as Asia, with some time in Canada, various cities around the US, and 16 of places listed below (thanks to several cruises... oh, how we love a cruise!)

Since birthing the Twinkies, the traveling has pretty much come to a screeching halt. As they are getting older, it is fun to start thinking about places that we may be able to go in the future- so when I saw my girl Leigh's post today, I knew I had to jump on board and get that travel bug flowing (well not exactly travel bugs, because those are gross- but you know what I mean!).

With that in mind here are the Top 5 places I would like to go:

1) Bora Bora Tahiti- Ok, so this would be a Dra-eamm with my hubby. It just looks beautiful-- seriously, how more gorgeous can you get. I have visions of me ( a much skinny-er me) with an exotic flower behind my ear, sun burnt, trailing off to dinner on the beach with the handsome hub beside me. Ahh...

2) California- I have loved hearing the stories of Mike's time he was stationed in cali-- perfect weather, fresh food, tons of stuff to do outdoors, and the scenery. I would love for someday to make this a reality.... and kids can be in tow for this one, lots of fun stuff for them here.
3) Next up... Hawaii. Need I say more? Fun in the sun, a little volcano action, and a luau to round out the day. Sounds fabulous.
4) Seattle- I know kind of random for some folks, but I have always been interested in life on the western side of the US. Bella and I could sport some sweet rain boots while here.
5) Australia- They have hands down the coolest accents. So for that, it ranks in the top five. That and kangaroos.
This was a hard, but fun task. It was hard to narrow down the options. There are several honorable mentions to hand out here : Niagara Falls, Vancouver, Boston, Martha's Vineyard, and of course taking the kiddies to Disney.