Thursday, July 17, 2014

Michigan Fun

We are up in Michigan visiting Ray's dad right now. We've had some great weather!

Adam and Andrew been working on their driving skills in the girls' old Cadillac!

The boys were cannonballing into the pool!

It wasn't that hot today so after pool fun, they had to go warm up at the bonfire!

Michigan BBQ

Dave and Jan had a BBQ at their house yesterday so we could visit everyone before we take off.  Despite road construction cutting off the road in front of their sub, we had a great time!

Igloo cake!

Cousin Fun

The boys had a blast with their cousins yesterday at PaPa's!

Farewell BBQ

We had a farewell BBQ in Kent last weekend. We had a nice turnout!  It was nice to see our friends for one last time before we head out. 

Puzzle Fun!

Adam and Great have been working on his 60 piece puzzles!  We just got him his first 100 piece one!  He's quite the puzzle guru!

Monday, July 07, 2014

Swimming Lessons



Andrew got stampers at preschool....and decided this is what he should do with them....

Baby Soccer Hat

A friend who is pregnant with her first boy wanted a soccer hat as they go to a lot of soccer games (her husband coaches).  Turns out soccer hats are HARD.  This was the easiest pattern I could find, and it is actually a crochet pattern.  I think the final product is cute, but I can't say I'm thrilled with it either. 

So I actually made two base hats (you make the base then make the pentagons to stich on).  The first was the first size, in my opinion, but it turns out I was doing my single crochet wrong (I don't single much!).  So I redid right...and it is huge.  But it'll fit him eventually...and I gave her both hats only one just is plain (the little one). 

I'm a first grader!

He's very proud of himself - he's a first grader!

Chopped My Hair

I chopped my hair.  I had the required 8 inches for Pantene Beautiful Lengths program.

Exhausted Andrew

Andrew thinks he doesn't need a nap anymore....he so does!  He kind of just collapses....

Our Scrapbook

So we just passed 12 years....and I finally started our own scrapbook this year and actually through our wedding!  Maybe I can get that caught up and actually on track! :)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Cleveland Zoo

Took the boys up to the Cleveland Zoo
Lunch in the parking lot - our friend, Jinny, knows all the tricks!

All three boys
Pumping water

These were the first inhabitants of this zoo!
The boys rode the road by themselves!
Adam helping hold a boa constrictor!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


I finally got started on the scrapbook for Ray and I!


Finally fixed the corner in the basement!

House for sale I just need someone to buy it!

Swim Lessons

Andrew at swimming lessons. Both boys are seeming to enjoy this much better this time!


Pillow out of an old HS sweatshirt

Pillow out of old UND t-shirts

Andrew needs driving lessons.....

Andrew was at a friend's house and the friend had a battery powered Jeep. Andrew was all excited to drive....but let's say he didn't do so good! There was a lot of crashing involved!


So I mentioned this before, but here are the pictures....about a week and a half ago, we got hit in the parking lot (while parked mind you).  The car is still in being fixed...sounds like we will get it back on Friday, although we've been doing okay since our friends loaned as a car (he's deployed and not using it anyway).

Bike Riding Boys

We bought Adam  a "real" bike last spring, but he's been "afraid" of it, which is more that he doesn't want to do it. We finally got him started on it!


Andrew - ready for soccer

Andrew likes to come downstairs after we put him in bed and will sometimes just sit on the couch until we find it....he couldn't escape sleep this time through!

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Really? All this?

So our house is now has been on the market just over a week (I want it to go QUICKLY, please, Jesus!) and that's enough of a stress because this s the one main factor I just do NOT control. I need someone else to WANT to buy it.  And the market here right is doing better, but still it definitely makes you worry!  So definitely a huge stressor!

In addition - because we didn't have enough to do this week - last Friday someone hit our PARKED car in the grocery store parking lot (we do know who, which will help with the insurance) and obviously insurance pays for this.....but it is a huge time drain we so did NOT need.  I talked to the autobody place that has the Traverse.....we might not get it back until the 17th!

Plus, our washing machine - which we JUST replaced in April - is leaking.  And Ray looked, it isn't hoses (which are easy), so he called the manufacturers (less than 90 days, still under warranty) and they coming tomorrow and as long as it isn't the hose, they will fix it for free.  But again, we just did NOT need this right now but I certainly don't want water on my basement floor because while it is NOT from the walls, you don't want any prospective buyer to THINK it is from the walls!  Ugh!

We are also in the last weeks of school - today was Andrew's last day, Adam goes through next Wednesday and so of course we have lots of extra commitments.  And both Ray and I start teaching summer school on Monday.   

I am trying so hard just to trust and go with the flow this summer....this last few days certainly are not helping.....huge extra stressors were not what the calming fairies ordered....

Last Day of Ravenna Preschool!

Today was Andrew's last day of preschool (for this year, he still has next year) and our last day with the Ravenna preschool because we'll be in preschool in the Mat-Su District come fall!  It was sad to say goodbye as we've made good friends there!  We'll see some over the next month or so, but it was bye to all his great teachers! 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

A friend made these at Thanksgiving...oh, my goodness, are they GOOD.  And I've never had Brussels sprouts I've actually liked before.  These were fabulous!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Modified from Nom Nom Paleo
1 1/2 lbs Brussels sprouts
2-3 tbsp. melted butter
salt and pepper
4 slices bacon, diced
balsamic vinegar
Preheat to 400.  Trim up Brussels sprouts as necessary and cut them in half.  Toss in melted butter, salt and pepper.
Dump them on a foil baking sheet, making one even layer.  Sprinkle on bacon.
Roast for 30-35 minutes, turning them every 10 minutes.  Drizzle balsamic vinegar on finished dish. 

Hannah's Bananas

I was pretty happy with these cookies, but I had major issues with Splenda - they did not work well as Splenda cookies.  I actually ended up having to do them like refrigerator cookies. I rolled them into a log, cut them into cookies rounds and baked them...because they did not rise AT ALL. 

Hannah's Bananas
1 1/2 cups melted butter
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups mashed banana
4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 beaten eggs
4 cups flour
2 cups chocolate chips (they used nuts, I did chocolate chips)
1/2 cup sugar
Melt butter.  Stir in sugar, beaten eggs, baking soda and salt.  Mash bananas and mix it into the sugar mixture.  Mix in flour then chips (or nuts).  Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. 
Preheat oven to 350.  Roll chilled dough into balls.  Roll in sugar.  Put on sheet and press down.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden in color. Cool for 2 minutes then move to wire racks. 
Makes about 10 dozen.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Citrus Baked Halibut

This was my new fish recipe for Lent. I can't say it was great or anything, but it was okay.

Citrus Baked Halibut
Modified from Better Homes and Gardens
1 lb fresh or frozen halibut (I actually used tilapia, so really any white fish)
1 tbsp butter
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp dried parsley (they said fresh)
1/2 tsp finely shredded orange peel
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tbsp lemon juice
Thaw fish if necessary.  Cut into serving size pieces.  Arrange in a 2 quart baking dish.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter.  Add onion and garlic and cook until tender.  Remove from heat and stir in parsley, orange peel, salt and pepper.  Spoon over fish.  Put orange and lemon juices over all of it.
Bake, covered, in a 400 oven for 15-20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
Makes 4 servings.

Some random stuff

These are some various articles and things I've collected and wanted to share!

So-So and one Terrible Recipe

So I had two "okay" recipes that I'm not really interested enough in to share fully, but I wanted to post the links.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole - this was okay, just rather bland

Roasted Red Pepper Sausage Skillet - Ray didn't mind this, I thought it wasn't too great. 

Fat free, sugar free chocolate ice cream - this was TERRIBLE.  Seriously....BAD....first, Splenda ice cream freezes VERY hard (like we had to wait 20 minutes to even TRY to serve it).  Second, it just tasted BAD.  So not impressed.  We threw it out.  We says a lot because I never throw anything out!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I've continued my experiments with Splenda....this time I just used the recipe off the bag of the brown sugar blend bag and I was pretty happy with the results!  The cookies were good and rose reasonably!
From the back of the Splenda Brown Sugar bag
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup melted butter
1 cup Splenda brown sugar blend
2 eggs (they say large, I always use extra large)
1 tbsp vanilla
1 pkg (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips (they said 2 cups)
Preheat to 375.  Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
Mix butter and brown sugar blend in a large bowl.  Stir in eggs.  Add vanilla.  Then stir in flour mixture.  Fold in chocolate chips.
Drop by rounded teaspoonful onto baking sheet.  Bake for 11-13 minutes.  Add to site for 2 minutes before moving to wire rack to cool.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.


We have been getting the house ready to sell, which mainly means painting.  Ray was saying we spent the first month in the house painting, now we are ending with more painting!
I painted the trim in the living room (just never got to it after we pulled up the carpet)

Adam helping with the garage door!

Ray and Adam working on the garage door

Andrew was helping while I did the front porch by painting a little something that Ray and Adam had made earlier

we painted the edge of the awning

Front porch step

Garage door