Life is an adventure.

Monday, January 26, 2009


We've incorporated a new Chore Chart system at our house. The kids are really enjoying it and their beds are made every day! Yeah!! I plan to put together a post with pictures outlining what we're doing. Look for that in the days to come.

We had a very lazy, relaxing weekend. The kids were off from school on Friday. Bryce had a swimming birthday party at the Y in the afternoon. Then Bryce had hockey practice at 5:00. We hit our favorite fish fry and went to bed with full tummies.

Saturday was equally as relaxing. Bryce had hockey in the morning. We spent the rest of the day doing things we've been putting off. The bills got paid and the closet got clean. If I could sleep in that closet I would! It is now officially my favorite room in the house...because it's totally clean and simply organized! The kids played with dominoes all morning. We went to the Green Bay Gamblers game in the evening. We are turning into quite the hockey family! The Gamblers are 19 and 20 year old kids who aren't in college and haven't been picked up by anyone. I am amazed at how aggressive this team is! They are currently in first place in their division. They won Saturday's game 6-0. It was a late night but a great day!

Sunday we went to late church. We slept in which is a rarity at our house. Even Brent was in bed until after 6:00 am. We made it to church on time which is also a rarity! Pastor Mark was awesome! The way he preaches makes me want to be a believer! His words are so powerful and yet so normal. He's a regular guy living a regular life with a huge passion to spread the word of God. I am so thankful that we have found his preaching and his church. What a lifesaver for our marriage and our family! Praise God!

Hannah and I took a moment to snuggle in her new bed. It's not often enough that I get to sit with either one of my children and just have a conversation with them. So I said, "Hannah, what do you want to be when you grow up?" She was looking for the answer somewhere in her room. She finally says, "A painter." "Do you want to paint bedrooms or do you want to paint pictures?" I asked. "Bedrooms," she said while intently looking at her painted walls. Then she says, "I want to paint bedrooms when I'm 80." She's been referencing ages of when she'd like to accomplish things lately. 80, however is a new number. Her response has regularly been 61. "Hannah, you know Grandma Helen is 80, right?" I said, trying to get her to understand just how old 80 is. Her eyes widened and her jaw dropped. "WHAT? I didn't know she was THAT old?!" Trying not to laugh I said, "So, do you still want to paint bedrooms when you're 80?" "No way!"

I am so gonna scrapbook that!

One more thing I've been pondering is the fact that I am not perfect nor will I ever be perfect. I have this nasty habit of comparing myself to people who are closer to perfection than I will ever be. This only makes me feel worse about myself. I am vowing to stop doing that, honestly. I am who I am and that's all I can ever be. I'll never be perfect, my house will never be perfect, my children, God love'em, will never be perfect. I have been blessed with a happy, healthy family, loving friends and the faith that I am perfect in God's eyes. I am happy with what I've got. I'm happy with who I'm becoming and I'm happy that even though I stress and worry about these crazy things that God still loves me! And that's a fact Jack! (name that movie....)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Great Grocery Debate

I admit I do not lead a healthy lifestyle. I never have. I come from a family where we were all overweight. My brother and my father both have diabetes and are overweight. My mother was heavy most of her life and was overweight when she died. I know the difference between healthy and not healthy foods but eating healthy is not something I'm used to. My kids eat chicken and fries and mac and cheese. I'm not ok with that, but that's the facts. So, when it comes time to plan a menu I panic. I want to have healthy options for all of us but I can't seem to figure out how to incorporate that into our daily routine without totally stressing out about it. I tend to go in one extreme or another. I either buy organic everything or everything is processed.

So today was grocery day. I woke up prepared to make a list of what to buy. I pulled out several cookbooks and started sifting through looking for the perfect recipes. I need to please both kids and my husband with one meal. Believe me, this is not an easy task. Either the kids won't touch it or my husband won't eat it. I'm not picky. I really do enjoy vegetables. I think my problem is coming up with something everyone will eat. I did buy lots of fruits and veggies and I am bound and determined to make everyone try everything this week.
So if you're reading this and you don't have this problem are you willing to share some advice? What do you cook for your family during the week? What kinds of things do you have on hand for your kids? I love being the domestic engineer of the family but this is the one part of my job I can't stand. I wish I had a personal chef.....

Monday, January 19, 2009

January 16, 2009

Well, January 16, 2009 has come and gone. I woke up a year older with a huge zit on my chin and school was cancelled. This has to be some kind of cruel joke, maybe I'm dreaming. I'm 35 now, do I really need more blemishes? I think not. Luckily the kids were good and we managed to schedule a playdate/MOPS meeting that kept the children busy for close to 4 hours. After the playdate we met Brent at the builder's office. We're trying to decide if we want to build again. I know we have got to be the craziest people alive. We have moved so much in the past 5 years you'd think moving again would be the furthest thing from our minds. But it's not. It's right there in the front of my mind every single day. Anyway, we spent 2 hours with the builders talking cabinets and flooring and spindles! I could feel the adrenaline rush as we walked into his office. We were surrounded by window samples, brick samples, doors and roof samples...I was very excited. All we have to do now is make an appointment to meet with the cabinet people and we'll know how much this house will set us back. Then we make the tough build or not to build. Lots to look forward to in the coming year.

I had planned on making the family sit through another round of hibachi at Nakashima's but decided at the last minute a steakhouse might be the better choice. Everyone was starving and I was afraid noodles, rice and shrimp just wasn't going to cut it. It turned out to be a good choice because my steak was rockin'! The kids told the waitress it was my birthday and she surprised me with a gigantic scoop of ice cream with whipped cream and hot fudge. The great birthday cake dibacle had not escaped our grasp this year (meaning the red velvet cake was not done yet) so the ice cream was the perfect ending. And I got to finish celebrating my birthday the next day once the cake was finished. I must say, this was the best cake to date! I've had green red velvet cake, I've had terribly dry red velvet cake and this year I had PERFECT red velvet cake. Thank you honey!

So, I'm 35 now. I guess it's time to start acting like an adult. But I don't WANNA!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Happy 2009

Wow, it's 2009. Time flies. I can clearly remember ringing in the year 2000 waiting for the Y2K explosion...that never came. My husband, at the time, and I had his family over to play cards and celebrate the new year together. We went downtown Davenport, IA to watch the huge fireworks display at midnight. It was very cool. It's a night I'll never forget. Thank goodness none of what everyone thought would happen actually happened. Now that we've reached 2009 that New Year's Eve of 1999 seems like it happened to me in an alternate life. My life is so far from where it was in 1999 I sometimes forget what life was like back then. And just like every year since then and before, I made the traditional New Year's resolutions. I'm sure the resolution consisted of two things, quit smoking and lose weight. 9 years later I'm still trying to lose weight but have fortunately kicked the smoking habit, for good. Once again I made some resolutions as 2009 began. #1 slow down. Life is wizzing by and I'm missing it because I'm too busy. I can only eliminate so many things on my schedule so #2 is to be more organized. I feel like I might have more time if my life was more organized. I have around 538 more resolutions, give or take, but I won't bore you with the details. Here's to a new year. Hopefully this year some of the money I lost in the stock market will come back and maybe some of the junk in my trunk will find it's way to another trunk.

So, to start the new year off right I have a recipe to share. I really love to cook. I do. I think I like it almost more than I like to scrapbook. I'm just better at the cut and paste. Anyway, this recipe is taken from Rachael Ray but I made a few changes. It's a great lunch or quick supper recipe. This was the first time I made it but I'm sure I'll make it again.

Taco Pockets
1 1/2lbs. ground sirloin
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or grated
1t. chili powder
1t. ground cumin
a few dashes of hot sauce
2 scallions, white and green, chopped
salt and pepper
4 round tortillas
taco sauce
shredded cheddar
shredded lettuce
Place a large skillet over med-high heat. Coat the pan with EVOO.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground sirloin, jalapeno pepper, garlic, chili powder, ground cumin, onions, salt and pepper and hot sauce. Form the meat mixture into four patties. Cook the patties on the hot skillet until golden brown and cooked through, about 5 mins. on each side.

While the burger patties are cooking, turn a gas burner to high and blister the flour tortillas by passing them over the flame quickly. If you don't have a gas stove, place a dry skillet over high heat and lay the tortillas, one at a time, into the hot skillet, blistering them on both sides.

As the patties finish cooking, transfer them to the tortillas and top each with some taco sauce, shredded cheese, lettuce and tomatoes.

Fold the tortilla around the burger, enclosing it in a pocket. Cut each pocket open on a diagonal and serve. This makes the pocket. It's ingenius! Nothing drips and it turns a regular hamburger into something totally different!

I added a bit too much of the "dressing" and mine was a bit hard to eat. I also eliminated almost every ingredient because I was in a hurry and wanted to use what I had on hand. (This is another one of those 987 new year's resolutions I have going on.) What I had on hand was the sirloin and the Pampered Chef Chipotle Rub that just came in the mail!!! It was rockin' for sure! Even this guy liked it!!!!

I don't know what you think, but this face says, "I love it when you take my picture! Take more! More I say!!" Isn't that what you think this face says? No? Yeah, maybe not.