Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Preparing for Baby

Well, as of today I am 36 weeks pregnant! So hard to believe. I think we have the house in order and are ready for baby's arrival... My "menu" for this week has several items that I am making double of and freezing for down the road...and I ordered some newborn diapers today when I ordered Griffin's diapers for April...other than that, I am just trying to stay caught up on everything else!

36 weeks

We did major clean outs of the closets in both the nursery and the kids room...and have successfully combined Avery and Griffin into one room. They really have done remarkably well with the transition. They only have issues going to sleep every now and then.

Here are a few pictures of Graham's room. I think the only thing its missing is him!

We'll let you know when our little man arrives...until then, pray for health, patience, and an epidural!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Cookout @ the Likes

We had a cookout last night at the Likes' house. Delicious BBQ chicken, green beans, and macaroni! Once again it was nice to be outdoors....but it did get a little chilly! Where did our spring weather go???

When I looked over and saw this sight, it made my heart smile! Daddy and son having their own little meal!

Creighton, Daniel, and Brent

I am so thankful that we have been blessed with such great friends here in Durham!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Still Alive!

Just a quick to let you know that we are still alive and hanging in there! I haven't posted all week because we have been hit with the GI bug! But I think we are on the mend now...(hopefully!)

Griffin woke up from his nap on Saturday with a fever and then woke up Sunday morning puking...Avery woke up during the night Tuesday saying that her belly hurt and then had a fever and was puking Wednesday morning...and I woke up puking on Thursday morning!!!

Thankfully, Brent was able to stay home from work on Thursday and play "Mr Mom!" He was a champ - taking griffin to/from school, feeding kids, putting them down for naps, and taking Avery to dance. That allowed me to lay low and rest and start feeling better. Now we are just praying that Brent doesn't get the bug too!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Our Weekend

We had a great weekend and really enjoyed this great spring weather! It was in the mid 70's both Saturday and Sunday so we took advantage of it. Brent and I worked in the yard - cleaning out flower beds, raking leaves, organizing outdoor toys, etc. The kids just enjoyed being outside.

Avery found a new love - earthworms! She knows just where to go to dig them up. I think she added about 10 to each of her flower pots! Brent also gave her a lesson in planting seeds - she's always talking about planting beans (as in dried black or pinto beans) so she loved this idea. They planted several different types of zinnia's and shasta daisies. Now we are praying that at least some of them grow so that she gets the full experience!

working on her "pots"

Saturday evening we had our good friends the Likes over for a spring cookout - we had burgers, homemade fries, baked beans, and strawberry shortcake - what a perfect way to welcome the warmer weather!

the kiddos enjoying their food

Griffin suddenly learned how to slug the ball this weekend. And it looks as if he'll be a left handed batter...

We are looking forward to many more weekends like this one!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Kudos to Daddy

I worked yesterday...one of my last 2 days of work before I stop for Graham's arrival! So exciting...Meanwhile, Avery had dance pictures yesterday. And that left Daddy to take her! Brent is a good sport and has gotten to where he's okay doing almost anything with Avery and Griffin. (and I'm so very thankful!)

This is Lauren - she babysits for us when I work. And she too is wonderful. She is great about entertaining the kids, doing projects with them, getting them outside, and leaving a clean house! And she is always willing to do whatever extra thing is needed - so yesterday she fixed Avery's hair in a beautiful bun and put some makeup on her for before her pictures.

Here is our little tap dancer - all "dolled" up and looking precious! Good job Daddy! (he can put on tights, leotards, ribbons, and dance shoes!)

Avery and Katelyn
Avery's Dance Class
Daddy even does costume changes!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Avery in Action

Here are a few pictures from Avery's school class website. Her teachers write a daily note that tells what they talked about, what books they read, what songs they sang, and what projects they worked on. It has been great because it allows me to ask Avery about what she learned/did and I can jog her memory when she can't remember!

This month they have been talking about birds. Here they are in circle time passing around a real bird nest for everyone to feel.

reading herself some books

making a bird feeder out of a coke bottle

yes, she stays dressed up - even at school!

practicing making the letters of her name out of playdough

my little artist!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Griffin in Action

Both of the kids' teachers keep a website updated with pictures and stories from school. Avery's teachers update her class site every day after school and Griffin's update his class site monthly. I always get a kick out of seeing them in that setting...here are a few pics from Griffin's class website. (I just learned that I can download from their sites...)

concentrating hard while doing stamps

making peanut butter and bird seed bird feeders

he's actually sitting in place with his hands in his lap!!!

learning about animals this month

busy painting

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Bailey's Birthday

Bailey, Katelyn, Avery

Today we went to a birthday party for our good friend Bailey who is turning 3! It was at a bounce house called Pump It Up. The kids had a blast and burned lots of energy. Mommy had time to talk with friends and Daddy ended up doing some jumping and sliding himself!

what a handsome dude!

a hot sweaty avery!

daddy and griffy

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Not long after Avery woke up from her nap yesterday, she asked me "What are you making me?" I was confused by her question - did she mean snack, dinner, what? I wasn't currently cooking anything so it wasn't like her super sensitive sense of smell was picking up on something...so I asked her what she meant - and her response? She said "Something CHOCOLATE?" I cracked up laughing at the random request that she didn't think was random at all. So when Brent called and said that he was on his way home from work, I told him that he would be his daughter's hero if he showed up with a box of brownie mix! Needless to say, she was thrilled when he arrived home bearing gifts - and she carried the box around until we made the brownies!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Tag, you're it!

My sister-in-law just "tagged me" in this game so thought I would pass it along...

Here are the rules:

1. Open your 1st Photo folder.

2. Scroll to the 10th photo.

3. Post the photo and the story behind it.

4. Tag 5 or more people.
So here is mine...

Our computer got struck by lightning right after Avery was born and all our pictures were fried...so my first photo folder starts when Avery was 2 months old. Here she is - all fat and sassy - enjoying her bath! That stage seems SOOO long ago..but it makes me smile to remember!

Now its your turn...I tag Christa, Cara, Lena, Lauren, and whoever else wants to participate!!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Home Depot Adventures

Quick Saturday update. Daddy, Avery and Griffin are alive. Fingers, toes, and the poor kids sitting behind us in Home Depot, all fine. Pet Smart will never be the same. Dogs across Durham will run when they see orange.
Avery and Griffin made Home Depot rain gauges. Glueing, hammering, sanding, screw driving are all improving with practice.
Here is Griffin's collection of pins, two Nascar display case pins and now a rain gauge pin. Mark your calendar's, April 2nd is Butterfly cage day. No telling what that will look like, but we will be there.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Weekend in Jasper

Last Tuesday when Brent got home from work, we packed up the kids and headed to Jasper. This was the last of our "travels" until after Graham is born. We had the place to ourselves for about 48 hours - and it was wonderful! The kids were so excited to be in a new place and play with toys they hadn't seen since we were there for Christmas. They did a great job entertaining themselves so Brent and I could actually relax! We enjoyed coffee by the fire in the morning and read/napped by the fire in the afternoons....

Nina and Big Daddy joined us Thursday afternoon. They kids were thrilled to see them and have playmates. Nina did more coloring and car racing than she has done in a lot of years!!! And Big Daddy had a little helper to assist on all of his projects. Brent and I enjoyed playing lots of cards and having some adult conversation!

enjoying some new bubbles

griffin finally has this bubble thing figured out!

we made cookies one night - and this is always the kids favorite part!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Meatball recipes

Here are 2 recipes that you can use the meatballs in....other than the obvious spaghetti and meatballs!

Italian Wedding Soup

Using a stockpot over medium heat, saute in 2 T olive oil until softened:
1 cup yellow onion, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup carrot, diced
1 cup ham, diced
1 T garlic, minced

Add and simmer for about 15-20 minutes:
6 cups chicken broth
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp crushed red pepper flake
1 bay leaf

Drop in and cook until they float to the top, 3-4 minutes:
30 uncooked marble-sized meatballs

Stir in and cook until spinach wilts, about 2 minutes:
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups whole spinach leaves
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Combine 2 beaten eggs and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese with a whisk. Off heat, stir egg mixture into soup.

Meatball Sub Sandwiches

Preheat oven to 450.

Prepare 4 6" hoagie buns by shaving a thin layer off the top and removing some of the bready interior so that you are left with a "submarine."

Brush the inside of hollowed out buns with olive oil.

Fill the bottom of each bun with mozzarella cheese and place them on a baking sheet. Bake until buns are lightly browned and cheese melts.

Fill subs with hot tomato sauce, then about 3 meatballs.

Top subs with more sauce and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese

Basic Meatballs

I learned early on in our marriage that Brent did NOT consider spaghetti as a main course! Not that I ate it regularly or anything, but its a cheap staple that you can always have in your pantry... but I only made it once in the first few years of marriage! About 3 years ago, I found this recipe for homemade meatballs. Its really easy, really good, and turns spaghetti into a meal acceptable by husbands!!

Preheat oven to 450.

Mix together using 2 forks (prevents compacting meat):
2 lbs ground chuck
1 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs

In separate bowl, stir together:

3/4 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup beef broth
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 eggs, beaten
2 T dried oregano
1 T minced garlic
1 T salt
1 T ground black pepper
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
pinch nutmeg

Add meat mixture with other ingredients. Using a melon scooper or 2 spoons (or your hands!), shape the meat mixture into golf ball sized balls. Coat a shallow roasting pan with cooking spray. Space the meatballs on the pan so that they are not touching. Add 1 cup of beef broth to cover the bottom of the pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until meatballs are just cooked through.

You can freeze these once cooked and cooled. I also sometimes freeze 1/2 of the uncooked meat mixture and use it later to make meatballs for Italian Wedding Soup (you need uncooked meatballs for that recipe). I'll post that recipe next...