Friday, October 31, 2008

Thankful Friday

All Elyse wants to do lately is "wak." She shouts it and grabs my hands and leads me wherever she wants to go. We caught a shot of all three of our shadows as we practiced walking.

1. Dennis is home from San Diego! Last week, Elyse and I were gone and then he was gone all this week so it is great to have time together as a family again!!

2. My little Halloween pink monster. We surprised Dennis at the airport and I think he got quite a kick out of seeing us. I think we also made a lot of people smile during their travels!

3. Hot fudge sundaes.

4. My classes start back up on Monday. I had the month of October off and I have to say I loved it but I have missed getting to know my students and helping in the beginning of their college careers.

5. Beautiful fall weather!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


This website had some really great "Get out the Vote" posters. Here are two of my favorites:

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Elyse drinking real milk right from the carton (you can see she does take after her daddy!)

So it's official (I think)...Elyse is officially weaned. At least I think so. I thought that was the case last week but gave in to her cries when we were visiting friends and she was screaming bloody murder in the middle of the night and waking the entire house (weaning while on a trip is not recommended).

I thought I would be sadder than I am. It's really OK. I will miss the closeness and cuddles we had on a regular basis. And oh how I will miss being able to eat everything in the pantry without gaining extra weight. It was hard when she was first born but by six months (yes, it really did take that long) it was easy. I'm glad we decided to go this long but I am also glad we are stopping now.

To think, I'll be able to go somewhere for the whole day without Elyse and not have to worry about her going hungry. Now, if I could only figure out someplace to go!

P.S. Try and say the title of this post three times fast without giggling! :)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pictures from this Weekend

Elyse and I had a great time visiting with friends this weekend!!

The crew: Me, Lisa, Shirley, Lindsey with Ellie, Elyse and Haven

It's fun to have a lunch buddy!!

Haven and Elyse raid the cabinets in their coordinating jammies.

Out for a ride

Elyse, Nick and Haven hanging out

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Back in Town...

Sorry there haven't been any posts the past few days. Elyse and I went out of town to visit a few friends. I'll post pictures tomorrow!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Chicken Spedini

I think my mom made this recipe up. You will see that there aren't exact measurements for everything but you should be able to eyeball it. This chicken was DELICIOUS...Dennis said it might even be his new favorite dinner. We had it with some orzo pasta and some broccoli.

Give it a try!

Thin Chicken Breasts
Italian Dressing
Italian Bread Crumbs
Baby Swiss
3/4 C Chicken Broth
2 T Lemon Juice
3 Cloves minced garlic
2 T melted butter
2 T flour

Marinate chicken in Italian dressing 1-1.5 hours. Coat chicken with italian bread crumbs and saute in olive oil until browned (do in batches). Return chicken to pan and top with procuitto and baby swiss. Top with lemon butter sauce.

I changed it a bit: After browning the chicken, actually cooking it all the way through, I put the chicken in a 9x13 pan, topped with procuitto and Swiss and put under the broiler for just a few minutes. I watched it and once the cheese started to brown I took it out.

Lemon Butter Sauce: Boil chicken broth, lemon juice and garlic. Mix butter and flour together in separate bowl. Add to brown. Bring to boil to thicken. Add sliced mushrooms and simmer 3-5 minutes.

For some reason I thought I was supposed to buy white wine for the sauce and made a special trip to Target. I just drank it instead (don't worry, just a glass) and actually recommend getting some wine to compliment this meal.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bag O' Textures

Our Parents as Teachers parent educator came over the other day with a "Texture Bag" as I like to call it. It is a bag full of little "pillows", each fabric a different texture. Apparently it is a good age for Elyse to explore these textures and since she loved them, I decided I could make one too. Here's how I did it.

1. First I went to the fabric store and bought fabric with lots of different textures. I just got 1/8 of a yard of each and that was a lot more than I needed. I also bought a bag of stuffing. All together it was only about $8!!

2. Then I cut the fabric into little squares. To make it easy, I made them 1/8 yard by 1/8 yard so I didn't have to make as many cuts. I learned for the last few that I could actually cut double squares and fold them in half. (Notice the Smirnoff in the back...this may be why the squares aren't perfect!)

3. Then I put the squares right sides together and sewed around the edges leaving about 2 inches unsewn.

4. I then turned them inside out, stuffed them and hand stitched the openings together. It would actually probably be even easier to sew the openings together on the machine.

5. To make the bag I used some leftover fabric that I had. I first made a button hole towards the top. Then I folded the top down over the button hole and sewed, making a casing for the ribbon. Then I folded the right sides together and sewed three edges, leaving the top open.

6. Last but not least, I attached a big safety pin to a piece of ribbon I had and fed it through the button hole into the casing I made at the top of the ribbon.

Trust me...this is far from perfect but I can guarantee Elyse doesn't care if the squares are perfect or if my stitches look neat. She just says "oohhh.." when she takes out each square.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Isaiah 30

O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, you teacher will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right tor to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." Then you will defile your idols overlaid with silver and your images covered with gold; you will throw them away and say "Away with you!"

He will also send you rain for the seed you sow in the ground, and the food that comes from the land will be rich and plentiful.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Thankful Friday

1. Elyse slept until 8!! EIGHT!!!

2. My favorite song came on (at the beginning) as soon as I got in the car this morning.

3. Elyse has remained happy (well not screaming) at the gym for two days in a row!

4. A rainy, lazy day.

5. Progress in weaning.

6. A weekend without much going on.

7. The Twilight series. I can't put it down!

Have a great one!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


There is a giveaway at Small Notebook (one of my favorites) and I LOVE the prize so I want to win. By posting this, I get an extra entry. Check out the beautiful jewelry being given away at this website.

Funny Wedding

I'm taking a break from a week in the life. I may come back to it, I may not.

I saw this on the Today Show yesterday and had to share. Unbelievable!!

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Week in the Life-Monday

I noticed on a few blogs last week a "Week in the Life" project. I think it originated on this blog. I'm a little behind but I still thought it sounded like a fun theme for the week so I'm going to start today. I hope you enjoy a little insight into my everyday life!

7:20 Elyse woke up. Dennis went and grabbed her and brought her into bed with us. I nursed her. We all played peek-a-boo under the cover for awhile. Dennis had the day off (Christopher Columbus) so he took Elyse downstairs and let me get a little extra sleep (what a lucky girl I am!)

9:30 Woke up! Went downstairs. Played with Elyse. Hung out with Dennis.This is one of her new favorite toys. She shakes her booty! Drank some coffee, ate some oatmeal.

10:20 Read Elyse book and put her down for morning nap. Checked e-mail, picked up, put the dishes away, showered. Planned out meals for the next few weeks and made the grocery list.

12:15 Ate leftover stew.

12:45 Super long nap. Elyse woke up. I fed her lunch.

2:00 Family trip to the commisary (grocery store). Bought lots of food. Saved $6 with coupons (using them is my new resolution!) The cashier recognized the high pitched squeals of Elyse as she had been making them throughout the store. What can you do?

3:30 Nursed crabby baby and put her down for a nap. I went down and tried to recreate a cookie we loved from Tropical Smoothie Cafe yesterday. I added coconut and macademia nuts to a regular chocolate chip cookie recipe. Yummy!

5:00 Got Elyse up (she didn't sleep) and call mom on Skype. Dennis made dinner (he should be off everyday!!)
6:30 Cleaned up dinner dishes. Elyse planed with magnets on the fridge including one with a picture of herself.

7:00 Went to Target to avoid hearing cries. We are working on weaning from nursing and the goal is to drop the night feeding this week so Dennis put her to bed. Amazingly (and probably the first time ever) I left Target without spending a dime. When I cam home, Dennis let me know that Elyse went down without a peep. She called "mama" a few times but Dennis just told her "mama done." Realizing I would no longer be nursing her at night, I cried a bit. I am glad we are moving on but it makes me sad.

8:30 Put the dishes away, made Elyse's cereal for the week, poured a glass of wine.

9:00 Watched Jon and Kate Plus 8 and blogged.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Do Not Worry

With a crazy financial week, I think this is a good reminder:

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sew or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to this life.

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these; If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, "What shall we eat?" or "What shall we drink?" or "What shall we wear?" For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.

Matthew 6:25-34

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Daily Reads

Did you know that you can subscribe to blogs? There are a few different programs to use. I use Google Reader. If you already have a Google account you have a Google Reader account to. I love it because I can read all the new posts on my favorite blogs without checking each on everyday. If you do have a Google account, just click on "Reader" at the top to start your Google Reader account.

You can also subscribe to this blog by click on the "Subscribe to Posts" link on the right.

Here are some of my favorite blogs that I read on a daily basis. Check them out!

Digital Photography School
Mt. Hope Chronicles
Simple Mom
Rocks in My Dryer
Small Notebook
Ali Edwards
Hyacinth Quilt Designs

Are there any favorite blogs you would like to share?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Thankful Friday

1. I filled up the Prius for only $3.17 a gallon. What a deal!

2. The new plates came in the mail today for the Explorer. I no longer have to drive illegally with expired tags. And, I have to give props to the Missouri DMV...they were very helpful and the plates came fast.

3. Fun times at a local park with our Meetup Group. You would think based on this picture that we actually went to the beach (we've lived in VA Beach for almost two years and we haven't spent time on the sand) but, alas, it is just the sand pit at the park.

4. A REALLY great first birthday for Elyse. A great visit with my parents. Getting to see Denise and Gary. Fun times all around.

5. Dennis gets a long weekend for Columbus day! WOO-HOO!!

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Enmglish Muffin Loaves

As I was watching Grey's Anatomy tonight, I decided I needed a snack. I looked to the pantry and the refrigerator and could not find anything to meet my craving so I decided to make something. I remembered our jar of homemade jam and decided to make something for it to go on (because eating spoonfuls out of the jar would just not be civilized!)

Give this bread a try. It is pretty easy (I made it in between commercials) and delicous.

English Muffin Loaves (Makes 2 loaves, I halved it to just make one)

2 packages active dry yeast
6 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup water

Combine 3 cups flour, yeast, sugar, salt and soda. Heat liquids until very warm (I did about 1.5 min in the microwave). Add liquids to dry mixture. Beat well (oops, I just stirred well). Stir in rest of flour to make a stiff batter. Spoon into two 8.5x4.5 inch pans that have been greased (Pammed) and sprinkled with cornmeal. Sprinkle tops with cornmeal. Cover. Let rise in warm place for 45 min. Tonight this was just my house as we are experiencing some warm weather! Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove from pans immediately and cool.

This bread is great with a little butter or some home made jam (try not to let the jam drip on your keyboard as you type out the recipe). It is good fresh out of the oven or toasted a bit.

We didn't have any butter or margarine as evidenced by this container Dennis found in the fridge. Oops!


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Who doesn't like PB&J??

One of the snacks at Elyse's party this week was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. We made them especially for our British friends who came to the party. Apparently, peanut butter and jelly isn't a staple there like it is here. Actually, the thought of it totally grossed them out. It wasn't "Well that would be a strange combination" but rather "Tasting PB&J would be like licking the bottom of someone's feet."

We made them try it anyway and here's a picture of Steve giving it a taste. As you can tell, he was not a fan! No wonder the pilgrims decided to leave England. Any place without PB&J is no place for me.

Monday, October 6, 2008


Today we officially start weaning from nursing. I don't think Elyse is really excited about it. She's learned to ask for milk and doesn't think a cup with cow's milk is much of a replacement. The goal is now to only nurse 3 times a day.

I don't think this is going to be easy. Does anyone have any tips???

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Give Me Grace

Lisa gave Elyse this book for her birthday. I love it. It has a prayer for each day of the week. Here is the prayer for Monday:

Monday make me
good and kind
to all creatures
that I find.
Help me love God's
whole creation.
Make my life a

Thanks Lisa!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Happy Birthday Elyse!!!

Unbelievable...Elyse is ONE! We had a great day. Here are some pictures of her with the cake. As you can see, she has her mama's sweet tooth!

I'll post more pictures soon. This has been a big day...garage sale here early this morning and then a birthday party. I'm off to bed!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Monkey Shots

Before Elyse was born, a friend recommended taking pictures every month of her next to the same stuffed animal. I haven't been perfect at remembering to do it but I though you might appreciate our latest photo shoot. You'll see why future photo shoots might not work out so well.

Here is Elyse at a little less than three weeks old. So tiny!

Here she is a few days ago. Poor baby...she's scared of the monkey! She crawled away as fast as she could!