Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Saturday 7

Sorry I'm late today. We spent the morning at Golden Corral with my family for my parents' 30th anniversary - which leads to my first point:

1. We ran into some interesting characters at Golden Corral. Justin never lets me go there because he says buffets are for white trash people. (Sorry if that offends you. It offends me too. I love buffets.) As much as it pains me to say it, I think he's right. Today we saw one interesting fellow eating with blue latex gloves on his hands. But the worst was the old guy sitting right by us. When he first came in, I thought "aww, that's sad. He's eating all alone." A few minutes later, we heard a loud whirring noise. We surreptitiously glanced his way to see him pureeing his food in a food processor and feeding himself through a feeding tube. Why on earth would you go to a restaurant and pay for expensive food you're not even going to taste? So strange. I ate my food with my mouth and enjoyed it very much. Happy 30th anniversary to my parents!

2. This week, I made witch hats with the kids. Fudge striped cookies upside down. A little squirt of orange frosting, and a hershey's kiss. The kids thought it was great and Justin enjoyed the leftover cookies and kisses I brought home. 2 points for me!

(Picture from barbschram.blogspot.com)

3. I only worked 2 days this week, so Lucy and I got to sleep in a lot. My sleep was greatly interrupted however by our stupid cat!!! It's actually really cute. Lola comes and gets me as soon as Lucy wakes up. Before I even hear her making noise in her bed, Lola starts crawling all over me crying incessantly. I'm of the opinion that as long as Lucy is happy to play in her crib, I'm happy to sleep. I don't get up until she starts calling for me. Lola, however, is extremely concerned that I'm not attending to my child. Cute in theory, not cute when I'm trying to sleep!!

4. Lucy has a few new words I feel the need to report. She says "cheese" the second I get the camera out. I've gotten some really cute pictures lately thanks to that! This week, she picked up "boo!" from Chase and Lyla. They like to hide from her and then jump out and say "boo!" She loves it, and shrieking abounds. She also says "hey hey hey!" Justin says that to her when they're playing and she steals something away from him or something. It's hilarious to hear her say it. This week it's gotten cold, so every time I get her out of the car, I say "brr!" and kind of rub my arms. I just noticed a couple days ago that she does it too. So adorable! Yesterday we were playing outside and I said, "Are you cold?" She nodded and said "brrr!" My favorite of her new words is "naked!" Haha. This might be TMI, but she thinks it's hilarious when I undress in front of her. She points and laughs at me. (Which does great things for my self-confidence!) Anyway, I always say "naked!" A couple days ago, I was changing my clothes and she yelled "nay-nay!" She's done it multiple times since then. Cracks me up!!

Mostly though, she just says "eesh." She says it for absolutely everything.

5. We did "Trunk or Treat" with Niki, Tayton, Amy, Cody, and Kiersten this week at Sunshine church. It was wicked cold and rainy, but Lucy was an adorable little jaguar! And she was happy as long as she was shoveling candy in her mouth!


6. Justin and I were talking about baby names this week. No, I am not pregnant. Just thinking ahead. He mentioned one name I really liked, so I've been thinking about it all week. Now, when we named Lucy, we did not think her name was that popular. But now we hear it all.the.time. It is seriously on every TV show ever. So I thought, "Now I'm going to hear that new name all over the place." Sure enough, it was on a TV show I watched on Thursday! Haha.

7. I made applesauce in my crockpot yesterday. I was so proud of myself. Haha. My dad has a bunch of apple trees, so I get free apples from him. And I came across this recipe on pinterest, so I decided to try it out. It was delicious! Although I definitely should've added more sugar. Oh well. The best part is that while I was coring and peeling the apples, I was trying to find something to keep Lucy busy. I got out my big craft box and let her have at it. She was entertained for half an hour playing with pipe cleaners and buttons and stickers. Genius!

Have a great week, everyone!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fabulous Recipe!

I'm sorry if you're getting sick of the recipe posts, but I figure people are always looking for new recipes, and this one was really good!

It's actually from a book about freezing dinners ahead of time, but I just found it on a message board.

Now, disclaimer . . . it sounds really gross. It's another one of those recipes with a very strange combination of ingredients. As I was making it, I was thinking No way is this going to turn out. It is going to be so gross and we're going to end up having peanut butter and jelly for dinner. But then once it was all simmering on the stove, it started to smell really good, and my faith was restored. So here you have it:

Peanut Chicken

Recipe By: Don't Panic - More Dinners in the Freezer
Serving Size: 6

Ingredients:
4 boneless chicken breasts
1/4 cup sesame oil - - - [The only thing I could find at the store was "sesame seed oil" in the ethnic foods aisle. And it was $12! Yeah right! I just used vegetable oil.]
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes [We're not big spice fans, so I left this out.]

--I also added some veggies: canned carrots and a smattering of frozen stir fry veggies--

Directions:
Slice chicken into bite size pieces and sauté in sesame oil until chicken is no longer pink.  Add peanut butter, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, and red pepper.  Simmer until sauce is thickened and heated through, about 15 minutes.  Cool completely.  Freeze.

Serving
Thaw.  Heat chicken and sauce on stove.  Serve over rice

Verdict:
I didn't do any of the freezing or thawing. Just threw it all together, simmered for 15 minutes, and served it over rice. (Brown rice, Libby! Aren't you proud?) And I didn't let Justin see the ingredients I put in it. Haha. He took one bite and declared "This tastes like cashew chicken." Which is exactly what I was thinking! I wish I had some cashews to throw in it. So yummy. And easy! Although, of course, Lucy wouldn't eat one bite. Oh well. I can't win every time. :-)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Saturday 7

1. I'm not sure I'm going to have too much to report this week because all I did was work. I know most people work 5 days a week, but I've been spoiled with my 2-3 day schedule, so 4 ten (+) hour days this week was brutal! Tuesday, I worked from 7am-9pm. It actually went surprisingly well. I did a craft with the kids and took them to the library and they took long naps, so the day went quickly enough.

2. Here's the cute Halloween craft I was talking about:

I just painted the bottom of the kids' feet white and stamped them on a black piece of paper. Then I cut out some little rectangles to write the words on and had them glue them on. I drew the face on Lyla's after it dried. Chase drew his own face on. Cute!

3. I got to hang out with a long lost friend this week: Ali. She's one of those friends that I don't really remember how we met or became friends, but I'm glad we did. My cousins and I road-tripped it to her wedding in Minnesota a couple years ago, but haven't seen much of her since then, so it was nice to reconnect. She is 30 weeks pregnant and looks like I did at about 18 weeks.  Haha. I'm always amazed at people like that. She looks great! We met at Panera on a cold, rainy night this week and I had cheesy broccoli soup in a bread bowl. Divine.

4. Here's an exciting bit of news: Justin is finally done with soccer!!! It is amazing to have him home all evening. We actually ate dinner as a family at 6:00 this week! And he gave Lucy a bath twice this week. I'm so happy to be done with the single mom thing!!!

5. Lucy learned how to say "Kitty" yesterday. She found Chase and Lyla's kitty and started chasing it around the house saying, "kitty! kitty!" I couldn't believe it! So adorable. Maybe she will talk after all!

6. Last week, my friend Rachael told me her daughter (who is 2 weeks younger than Lucy) was cutting all 4 of her molars. I thought to myself, "Wow, that must be horrible. I'm glad we don't have to deal with that." As luck would have it, a couple nights later, Lucy woke up crying in the middle of the night. So unlike her! Then I noticed she was running a low-grade fever, and sticking her fingers in the back of her mouth to chew on them. Sure enough, 4 molars working their way through. Ha! She's actually doing amazingly well. After that one night, she hasn't woken up again in the middle of the night. She's never cranky or acting like she's in pain. Of course, they're just barely peeking through. It could definitely get worse.

7. I didn't end up making that third new recipe I promised in my last entry. We went to the mall last night to try and redeem some of my birthday gift cards and just snacked on pretzels and smoothies. I have $50 in gift cards to American Eagle and couldn't find anything I liked. I'm just not trendy enough to pull off most of those clothes. Apparently cropped shirts are in style now? Why would I want a sweatshirt that only covers half my stomach? I found a couple cute shirts, but they just look ridiculous on me. I need to lose 20 pounds and grow 4 inches. Or I just need to get over my insecurities. But that's about as likely to happen as the growing 4 inches part. Haha!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

2 Recipes

I've been on a roll with new recipes this week. I won't have room for all of them in the Saturday 7, so consider this a bonus entry! ;-)

Apple Pork Chops
I wrote about this one on facebook, but in case you missed it, here's the story: I made these years ago and Justin loved them. Along the way, I lost the recipe. He just asked me to make them again, so I made it from memory. Apparently my memory is amazing, because they were delicious! Seriously though, there wasn't much to remember. This is all it is:

Put some boneless pork chops in the bottom of a pan
Cover them with a can of apple pie filling
Top with prepared stuffing - I used pork flavored. You can use whatever.

Bake at 350* for 40ish minutes. I did 42 minutes and they turned out perfectly!

Cheesy Chicken Slop
This recipe was from Pinterest, but it was really nothing special. I'll pass it on anyway, in case it strikes your fancy.

Put some boneless skinless chicken breasts in a crockpot.
Cover with 2 cans of cream of chicken soup.
Sprinkle with a packet of dry Italian dressing.
Cook on low all day. (Mine cooked from 6:30am-5:30pm. I'm sure they don't need to cook quite that long.)
Add a brick of cream cheese and let cook for 30 more minutes.
Serve over egg noodles.

It kind of reminded me of tuna noodle casserole, only it wasn't baked, and it had chicken instead of tuna. It was ok, but a little too creamy/rich for me. It's one of those things that the leftovers will sit in the fridge for 2 weeks until I decide no one's actually going to eat it a second time. Haha.

So there you have it. I'm going to try one more new one tomorrow. That one will probably make the Saturday 7. Stay tuned! ;-)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Saturday 7

1. I finished Radical last weekend. I've been meaning to write an entry all week, but I just haven't gotten around to it. I write it in my head almost every night while I'm in bed. I just need to type it up! Here is my one sentence review: I hated it because it's so convicting, but I feel like it's rooted in Biblical truth. Stay tuned. :-)

2. I had a fabulous birthday. Thanks to everyone who made it special. I had a wonderful time stuffing my face all weekend. Friday we had Red Robin, Saturday was Qdoba, Sunday Olive Garden, and Monday Logan's! Wow. It's a good thing I don't believe in counting calories. ;-) Justin bought me some boots that I wanted, and  I got a couple American Eagle gift cards, an Olive Garden gift card, $50 cash, a scarf, mittens, and bracelet. I really wanted Justin to take me to the mall today, but it must have slipped my mind that today is a big Michigan sports day. I don't think he'll be leaving the couch. Haha.

3. Yesterday, Lucy and I went on a field trip to the Children's Museum with our friends Carrie, Abby, Kelly, and Presley. We had so much fun! Abby, Presley, and Lucy are all the same age, so it was fun to see how they're similar and different. I was shocked to realize how ADD Lucy is! Haha. Presley and Abby sat at each exhibit and played. Lucy bounced from one to the next and got into everything in the building that wasn't meant to be played with. She was obsessed with the stairs, with looking out the huge windows, and with just running around aimlessly. Haha. Her favorite exhibits were the kitchen and the veterinarian clinic. It was a great time. I just wish it wasn't so far away! Thanks Carrie for suggesting it!
The only decent picture I got of all three of them. More pics will be posted to facebook later today. 

4. Lucy's latest fascination is zippers. If ever I'm wearing a zip up sweatshirt, she insists that I zip it. She loves to unzip Chase and Lyla's backpacks, my CD cases, and my make-up bag.

One more Lucy factoid: she learned what the monkey says this week: Ah ooh ah ooh! :-)

5. After reading Radical, I've been praying that God would use me, that he would reveal a way for me to serve Him and reach out to people. So this week I got something in the mail from Compassion International asking me to be a Compassion Advocate. It's basically a volunteer who tries to recruit new Compassion sponsors. The brochure had some basic information, but I'm not really sure how much of a commitment it is. At first, I thought it was definitely something I could do. I could get up in front of church and give a spiel. I could put up a booth in the foyer. I'd even be willing to have a booth at a couple area expos or something. But I'm not sure I could give presentations at other churches or have booths at every event possible.

How do you know when God is actually calling you to something? I'm sure every Compassion sponsor gets these requests to be an Advocate. But it came at a time when I was looking for a way to actively serve. Is that reason enough to do it? Or should I feel more compulsion from the Spirit? Am I quelling the Spirit with my fears? Ugh. Decisions, decisions!

6. Here's a random question: can you text 911 in case of an emergency? Last week, when I was hacking my guts out, I fell asleep with a cough drop in my mouth. I've done that many times before, but this time, I was home alone with Lucy and I thought to myself: what would I do if I choked on that cough drop while we were home alone? Could I text "choking!" to 911? The problem is we have a really long address. I'd probably pass out before I could type it all and hit send! Haha.

7. I can't think of anything else, so I'm going to tell you about another one of Lucy's obsessions: shoes. The girl is in love. Sometimes if I'm distracted with something, I'll suddenly realize Lucy is out of sight and it's very quiet. I almost always find her sitting in her closet, sorting her shoes. Haha. One day this week, I was downstairs doing laundry. She started to follow me down the stairs, but stopped on the landing to play with my shoes. (She ended up putting them in a bag and I couldn't find them for days! Haha.) I am not one of those girls who's really into shoes - mostly just because I have bunions like an 80 year old woman so I can't really wear cute shoes. However, I think Lucy will be more the stereotypical shoe-obsessed girl!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Saturday 7

1. We went to Artprize yesterday. Justin and I both had the day off, the weather was beautiful, and we'd never been, so off we went! I've said this before, but it's funny that we live 30 minutes from GR, but almost never go down there. It really is a nice city. We didn't see too much. It was actually kind of hot and we were getting hungry, but the stuff we saw was pretty cool. I liked the recycled material sculpture of endangered animals outside the Ford museum. My recurring thought as we looked at everything was that it must take a lot of patience to be an artist. I can't imagine how long it would take to make some of that stuff!

2. It has been a really rough week around here. Lucy and I are both sick as dogs. We are snot factories. And in the past few days the coughing has set in. I despise coughing. I have to be able to sleep. Ugh. The bad news is it's not getting any better. I think last night was my worst night of sleep yet. On Monday, I bought a bottle of cough suppressant pills from the dollar store. There were 15 pills in the bottle and they are gone. Haha. Headed back to the store today . . . In addition to the nasty cold, I had a headache 3 days in a row. I'm starting to realize this is a monthly thing and I'm not real thrilled about it. Blech.

3. Lucy has started getting a little bit of an attitude. It's frustrating to both of us that she doesn't really talk, so when she wants something and I misinterpret it, she gets really mad. She's taken to stomping her feet, which is actually really cute. Haha. She also claps her hands when she's frustrated or scared. Silly girl. It's time for her to learn how to communicate with words!

4. We have had such gorgeous weather all week. 70s and sunny. Lucy absolutely loves playing outside. She's going to be devastated when the snow starts flying and she can't run around as freely. I haven't bought her a snowsuit yet, but they're pretty universally constricting at her size. The bad thing about this warm weather is that I've already packed away all her summer clothes! I had to dig some out - especially her summer jammies. She definitely didn't need the fleece footed ones this week!

5. So, it's my birthday weekend! We're poorer than usual this year, so I didn't claim birthday week - just birthday weekend. :-) Yesterday was Artprize and my free birthday burger at Red Robin. I'm thinking today is going to be my free birthday burrito at Qdoba, and tomorrow I'm going to cash in my Olive Garden gift card! (That an anonymous donor left for me at nursery last Sunday! I'm pretty sure I know who you are with your man handwriting . . . ;-)) Birthday weekend is the best!

6. Good news. I got a free sample of StriVectin in the mail. So in 8 weeks, my stomach will go from this:

To this:
Ha! The worst part is I took this picture in 2006 as weight loss motivation! I thought I was fat! 

7. What should I be for Halloween this year? I'm so stumped. 3 years ago I was Juno, 2 years ago I was Octomom, and last year I was Dr. Pepper. I can't think of anything for this year!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings

I tried another pinterest recipe tonight: Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings. It was really good! It would be perfect for a cold, drizzly day - which today was not. But it was also perfect for a bunch of sickies - which we are. Here it is:
Picture from bubblecrumb.com 

Chicken and Dumplings

4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used chicken tenders and threw them in frozen)
2 tablespoons butter
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 can chicken broth
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon dried parsley
4 Grands flaky refrigerator biscuits

1. Throw everything except the biscuits in a crockpot on low for 6-8 hours. (I work way longer than that, so mine cooked for 11 hours. Haha. Nice and tender!)
2. Shred the chicken.
3. Cut each biscuit into 9 pieces. 
4. Stir biscuit pieces into hot chicken and continue to cook for 30 minutes. 

More notes: I actually used a packet of Tastefully Simple Onion Onion instead of the onion and parsley. It was delicious! And I might let the biscuits cook a little longer - or maybe I should have turned it on high, because after 30 minutes on low they were still a little doughy. 

Enjoy! :-)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Saturday 7

1. Lucy has been so clingy the past few days. She just wants to be held all the time. She has a runny nose and a little bit of a a cough, so I figured she just wasn't feeling well. This morning, I woke up with the cold. I understand now how miserable she is. :-(

2. I got all domestic this week and borrowed Kelly's food processor again to puree some veggies. I did cauliflower and sweet potatoes this time. Then I made homemade mac n' cheese with the cauliflower puree (recipe from Deceptively Delicious).  It was delicious and Lucy gobbled it right up! Woohoo for veggies!

3. Our house was 64* when I got up this morning. I said I wouldn't turn on the heat til October, but I really don't want to do it the first day! I have to hold out longer than that! It's supposed to be 70* again next week. Maybe I can make it 'til November?

4. I reorganized Lucy's clothes this week. I've started putting away most of her 6-12 month stuff. It is obscene how much she has. I've already filled one huge bin and one smaller bin and there's more to be put away! All I can say is we better have another girl someday to get extra use out of all those clothes!

5. One day this week, Lyla was limping around weirdly. I asked her what was wrong and she said, "There's something in my hiney. I think it's a woodchip!" Lol. I laughed so hard. What a weirdo.

6. What happened to Saturday morning cartoons? It's 9:30 a.m. CBS and NBC both have news programs on. ABC has played 2 nature shows back to back. Where are Doug, Recess, Pepper Ann? Ahh, the good ole days.

7. I've really been having baby fever lately. I miss those sweet days of snuggling, the wonder of a baby's newness. I even really miss breastfeeding! But I've been reminding myself that it won't be the same the second time around. I won't be able to sleep every time the baby sleeps because I'll have a toddler too! And pregnancy isn't going to be as fun the second time around because I'll be chasing Lucy around instead of sitting on the couch eating cookies like I did when I was pregnant with her. I saw a ginormously pregnant lady trying to wrestle a toddler into his carseat the other day and thought, "Ohh snap. That's what it's going to be like."  Haha. So I think we're going to wait a little longer. Sorry to disappoint you, Grandma. ;-)
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