Sunday, December 12, 2010

the wait is officially over

finally! we have snow in wisconsin. i am so grateful that it waited until the day after we finished moving out of our home. whew!

this week the snow turned to blizzard and we have already had our first encounter with 'i think we're stuck, get the shovel". good thing the neighbors are friendly. i will remember my cellphone the next time. honestly, it could have been one of those moments where i could have easily gotten frustrated and upset about the why me? but, my kids were so positive that they almost made it enjoyable. i would never want to take excitement away from these guys. they can't wait to get outside with the sled.

as fun as it is to sit on the toboggan inside it is much more thrilling to laugh all the ay down a snow covered hill. what isn't fun is the hours and hours that it takes to get the three of us dressed and to find 2 mittens for each of us! someday i will be organized.

we had an awesome first snow day. i can't wait for snow that packs into a snowman and snow creatures.

let's just say i love snow because of the beauty that it brings to a rather dull and dreary world once all the leaves have fallen and the cold sets in. it also brings about a calmness and peaceful feeling when soft snowflakes are falling and the world is just quiet except for the giggles of kids running around and completely exhauting themselves.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

i know an old lady who swallowed a pie

happy turkey day, dear friends!!! i hope that your pants still fit after all of the festivities. let's be honest the day is all about FOOD!! yummy food and pies and bars!

i wanted to share this video of an awesome 4 year old sharing the book 'i know an old lady who swallowed a pie' by alison jackson. watch the video and do the activity with your child. have them retell it to your thanksgiving guests.

if you cannot get the images to print please email me and i will send the files your way.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

hudson's 2...10 things i ((love)) sunday

really, little man turned 2 today! so, no more counting months. he travelled the house all day saying 'birthday'. he is a super guy and i ((love)) this little man.

we started the day with balloons everywhere in the house. i think i will continue to find the hidden ones for weeks. kids can trash a house in a whirlwind minute and well, i have come to the conclusion that i am bound to never see some things again and/or the day that they eventually resurface they will have already been long forgotten about.

1. he had a big bowl of cereal and finished every last drop. he is a growing man, you know!

2. he made some very important phone calls. he is a busy man, you know.
 3. he is not big on sweets but, destroying a cake is totally up there on his to-do list.
4. he may not have a lot of hair but, he looks good with a mustache!
5. everytime you pick up a camera or someone else does you say 'smile'.
6. your sister could totally pull off a mustache as well, of the paper kind.
7. you totally crack me up with your 'bless you,' 'love you', your insistant 'no, mommy not daddy!', 'share', 'please', 'thank you', 'potty', 'tractor','combine', 'skidloader','ahhhda' (ava), 'mommy', 'daddy', 'uncle', 'grampa', 'gramma', 'kendal', 'candy', 'gummy'. you've got a lot to say!

 8. you hit the jackpot of all things tractors
9. i ((love)) that you even dug the cool new books you got.
10. i ((love)) us! you, me, daddy, ava.

happy birthday, my little man!!!

linking up with emily at chattingatthesky for tuesdays unwrapped.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

craftastic weekend!

i am a crafter. i like crafts. i like sewing and gluing and finding ways to use bits and pieces of leftover project materials. i also like organization but, creating masterpieces does not lend itself to organization in my household and let's face it, being a mom of two does not lend itself to organization. i'm cool with it. i can handle it....most days!

this is the time of year that flies from one holiday to the next. some are already counting down the days to christmas. i must admit that i have even pulled out the "you know, santa's elves are watching you."

this year i wanted to focus a little more on thanksgiving. we have so much to be thankful for and it is so easy to take those precious things for granted. we started off by creating our own fall color-changing leaves. a used her new clementine paints and about 20 paintbrushes!!!

 we left those to dry and came back to them the next day.  we read the book p is for pumpkin. God's harvest alphabet by kathy-jo wargin and we brainstormed all the things that we love. family, friends, the dog, spiders (a contribution because they eat bugs). glad she can find the good in almost anything except turning off scooby-doo!
then we took a few blank maple leaves and drew and scribbled the most important things we are thankful for on them. cut them all out and a little tape and a {give thanks} garland and viola!!! instant decorations for thanksgiving. guests can talk about it and add their own and i have a daily reminder to pause. life is short and good.

what do you want your kids to remember most this holiday season. any great family traditions you like to do?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

the newest comfort food. family {food}

i have to start off by saying that i am a huge fan of giada. my husband makes fun only until the food hits the table and then he concedes that she truly rocks. what's not to love food, fashion, the beach!!! ahhh.

i have had this recipe printed out for the last year. we just tried it this last week and it was awesome. granted i did not follow the recipe exactly as we did not have basil or amaretti cookies and i roasted the squash instead which you could easily do a day ahead. to me, this is cooking: finding a way to make it work and loving it.

so, i changed the recipe by roasting the butternut squash in the oven and to make the sauce i melted 3 tbsp of butter, added 3-5 cloves of minced garlic, added 1/4 cup of flour, whisked for a minute and then added 2 1/2 cups of whole milk. otherwise i pretty much followed the recipe. and it turned out delish!! what is your favourite fall comfort food?

butternut squash lasagna courtesy of giade de laurentiis


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (1 1/2 to 2-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup water
3 amaretti cookies, crumbled
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups whole milk
Pinch nutmeg
3/4 cup (lightly packed) fresh basil leaves
12 no-boil lasagna noodles
2 1/2 cups shredded whole-milk mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan


Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the squash and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour the water into the skillet and then cover and simmer over medium heat until the squash is tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly and then transfer the squash to a food processor. Add the amaretti cookies and blend until smooth. Season the squash puree, to taste, with more salt and pepper.

Melt the butter in a heavy medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the milk. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, whisking often, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the nutmeg. Cool slightly. Transfer half of the sauce to a blender*. Add the basil and blend until smooth. Return the basil sauce to the sauce in the pan and stir to blend. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, to taste.

Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.

Lightly butter a 13 by 9 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Spread 3/4 cup of the sauce over the prepared baking dish. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles on the bottom of the pan. Spread 1/3 of the squash puree over the noodles. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese. Drizzle 1/2 cup of sauce over the noodles. Repeat layering 3 more times.

Tightly cover the baking dish with foil and bake the lasagna for 40 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses over the lasagna. Continue baking uncovered until the sauce bubbles and the top is golden, 15 minutes longer. Let the lasagna stand for 15 minutes before serving.

*When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.

just add some peas for color and a fresh loaf of crusty bread and you have a new comfort food menu for fall. enjoy!
A Beatiful Mess
i am joining alicia over at a beautiful mess

Friday, November 12, 2010

seriously, this is november

the weather was absolutely beautiful this past week and you better believe that we took full advantage of it. i love being able to hang out with my kids and ignore any of the stresses of life that may be bothering me. you must know that some days the stresses come from my kids when when took the other's toy or when there is just not enough space for two beings to co-exist in the same room or same house or same yard!! but, not on days like this, not on days when the sun is shining and the air is slightly crisp.
that girl has a great personality and a fierceness all about herself. i just want to be her and love life the way she does.


can you believe we had the chance to fly kites in NOVEMBER!! the joys of childhood. you could totally tell it was fall though because of the early setting sun. just one of the reminders that fall is ending and winter is soon to be here. this next week's forecast tells us it will be here soon.

honestly, i won't complain. it was a beautiful fall and it is a beautiful life.

Friend Finding Fridays

Sunday, November 7, 2010

10 things i ((love)) sunday

"soak it up, dear," they say, "i remember those days and they go by all too fast." i am a shameless swooner of all things baby and kid--cheeks aching from smiles and giggles, the passerby's kiss as they rush on to the next big adventure in the backyard, the first "daddy, let's play barbie's," shy smiles attempting to hide the excitement of a 'this is cool' moment , tight hugs, tiny fingers. i want to capture all the wisps of the moments i know are fleeting.

ava is 4. just yesterday she was a little babe in my arms. i cared for all her needs and then, well, she grew. just like she is supposed to, just like i want her to. but, WOW, this time is passing all so quickly. did you know that "someday {she} is going to get married and have 3 kids and move away but, {i} can visit."

here is an interview with a 4 year old!



a few more:
favorite food: macaroni and cheese...who could have guessed!
favorite candy: hot chocolate with whipped cream and a marshmallow
worst food to eat: lettuce
favorite place to go: daddy's work
animal that gives you the jitters: a bear. i think we need to go on another bear hunt. i love this song and your kids will too.

there are moments when it seems as if there is just too much on our plates. i love dropping it all to have it all! i love our afternoon vacations, our pruning sessions in the bubble bath, our purposeful {and at times not so purposeful} chaos, your wild and carefree dancing. you are amazing!

it's one thing to find yourself, to know yourself, to love yourself and dwell in a world that can seem to skew your perceptions with expectations to be smarter, prettier, richer, funnier, faster, better, different from any marvelous thing you already are.

you are amazing!

to thine own self be true....shakespeare

today i am linking up with emily at chatting at the sky for tuesday's unwrapped and alysha atWordish Wednesday

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

crayon melts

with little kids always scribbling, we were starting to accumulate quite a few broken crayon bits and pieces around here and remaking them into muffin shaped composite crayons seems like a fun way of giving them a useful second life. and, well. who doesn't love a little chemistry in the lab!

so, we set right to work sorting out colors. i took the lid to a container and traced circles on a sheet of paper in all the different colors and had a and h scribble away.  then we filled our mini muffin tin with our mixes. and, popped them in the oven at 200 degrees for about 10 minutes. keep your eye on them though. have your children set a timer and record the progress.


there you go. mini crayon cookies! next up...creating new names for all your colors. ava had a princess pink cupcake and i am pretty sure that hudson would love to name the one grampa green as he loves to ride in his john deere tractor. but, seriously who gets that job. i think i would like to sign up.
just a few tips:
•use only one brand/kind of crayon. the batch we made of only regular crayolas melted more evenly. washable ones (very hard to melt) and all the freebies from dining establishments, differential melting becomes a problem as some melt to water-like consistency while other are rock hard.

•2-3 highly contrasting colors gave the best scribble. the all-shades-of-blue cookie looked great, but was a little underwhelming when it came to performance testing.

•3 full crayons are about all that you'll want in a mini-muffin tin. it looks like it will hold more, but you don't want them coming over the edge and spilling in your oven. use a pan underneath while the Cookies are in the oven.

if you try this yourself, i would love to see your rainbow of colors and hear the interesting names they are given.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

10 things i ((love)) sunday

 fall has officially arrived. the nights are crisp and cool. the days are sunny and warm. here are a few of the things i am hearting to add color, warmth, and sweetness to my days.

1. allisa jacobswood handle fall floral handbag
2. nikid. caramel and belgian chocolate covered apple with pecans
3. rocket and bear. baby organic booties
4. the bitsy bean. apple natural wooden teething toy
5. missisaau. handmade mixed rainbow colored pencils
6. thimble and acorn. heather grey long sleeve tunic
7. an apple a day. fresh and crisp the season's best
8. girl hula. wheels. what better way to get around and enjoy your surroundings.

9. this little boy in his little boxer briefs. we are far from being potty trained but, who can resist those cute little cheeks stomping around the yard. he has also become quite the scholar. both a and h love books and we spend hours reading. he found the perfect spot and plopped himself down with a pile of books. occasionally when the 'it's too quiet' panic mode sets in, this is what i find my children doing. it melts my heart.

10. ava's first official team sport. she has made loads of new friends whether they were dribbling the ball back and forth or swapping bracelets on the field.  i may not technically be driving the mini-van but, i am the proud momma of a soccer kid.

i hope you enjoy lots of snuggles with your loves and warm sweaters and cozy socks this fall.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

a newbie to melon dot

i am wishing this litte girl sweet sweet rainbow dreams and all the best to her family.

congrats on your new baby girl, addie!! hope she gets lots of use out of her melon dot tee.

also, i know the month is half over but, these are some dates you just may wish to celebrate

National Dessert Month (sweeeet!)
Class Reunion Month
National Book Month
National Roller Skating Month
10/8 World Egg Day
10/11 Thanksgiving in Canada
10/13 National Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work and School Day
10/23 Weird Al Yankovic's Birthday
10/24 Mother-In-Law Day (insert joke here)
10/30 National Candy Corn Day
10/31 Happy Halloween! (should we add national brush your teeth day or go to bed with gum in your hair.....just a thought)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

going out with a bang and a lost shoe


alicia's blog is titled {a beautiful mess}. life is just that a jumbled mess of happiness, craziness, love and joy with mixes of mermaid tails, sidewalk chalk houses, naps in cars, hugs and kisses, father/daughter dances, water water everywhere, space alien body drying machines, late night runs to target (or tar-jhay if you prefer the more sophisticated).

here's to enjoying the small things, celebrating the magical days of childhood, and finding the beauty that is all around us.

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