Saturday, December 31, 2011

My last post...

...of the year! Ha!
A lot of bloggers are doing a look back at their year in their posts today. Its really nice to see their recaps. But I am not. Why? Because I am way to lazy to do it. So...sorry. Just a boring ol wordy post from me.
Boys still have colds. But they aren't as bad. Ethan isn't snotting as much today as he was yesterday. Dylan isn't coughing as much either. We are staying in tonight. I will be surprised if we are able to stay awake and see the ball drop! I think we are going to go get pizza...somewhere and then later we are making a buffalo chicken dip and whatever else to snack on and hopefully stay awake. I don't know about the boys bedtime. It will just depend on how much they are driving me nuts. We may let them stay up later. Who knows.
I mentioned the rib dinner I was making the other night. Well the ribs came out tender and all that stuff, but the sauce mix that was in the crock pot with them wasn't all that good. Way to vinegary. It had potential, but eh...don't think I'd make it again. So Ive decided not to share it. If anyone is interested though, let me know and I can send it to you in case you are curious. Last night we finished off a bunch of leftovers. I've been so lazy about wanting to cook this week. I just haven't felt like it.
Its been a quick year. A pretty good year. Hopefully 2012 will be even better.


Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Taking the week off

That is basically what I have been doing. I will pay for it later, I know. Dylan hasn't had any school and doesn't go back until Wednesday. We haven't left the house but one day this week to go and get groceries. Aside from the needed laundry and dishes, I haven't done much else around the house. And I don't particularly care right now. Like I said, I know I will pay for it later.
Today the kids woke up with a cold. Ethan seems worse off that Dylan though. Dylan has a slight cough from post nasal drip. Not much else with him. Ethan has a horribly runny nose and is sneezing like crazy. He also sounds very congested. When he first woke up it didn't seem to bother him much, but as the day goes on, he is a bit more clingy and just wants to be cuddled. The runny nose is the worst of it. Hopefully he takes a great nap to help him get through the evening.
The Christmas tree has been taken down and is put away. The tent/tunnel combo that we got Ethan for Christmas now takes its place in the corner. I'm glad we have a large living room.
...yeah, not the best picture but you get the idea. He likes it. I just have to watch Dylan with it. He gets a bit rough in and around it. I would hate for him to be the one to break Ethan's gift. But they do enjoy it.
If tonight's dinner turns out well, I will share the recipe with you. A month or two ago, I got a couple of racks of baby back ribs on sale. So they are in the crock pot right now. I'm hoping they turn out well. Dinner will be the ribs, cornbread, baked beans and a veggie to be determined later.
I mentioned in other posts about how December has flown by. Well for me, this week has drug on. Mainly because we haven't gone anywhere this week and haven't had to, I have no idea what day it is, haha, and it seems to be going by quite slowly. Oh well. All of that will change once Dylan starts back into school.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

So what's next?

Well aside from New Year's, which is never a big deal, all we have going on this month is Ethan's birthday. Ok, I said 'this month' but what I meant was January. But it might as well be January already because December flew by in a blur. Anyway...back to my point. Ethan's birthday. I really am not sure how I want to handle this one. The kid doesn't need anything. He does not need anymore toys. He doesn't need any clothes either, because of all of the stuff that I have saved from Dylan. So I am very hesitant to hold a party and have people get him something just to get him something. He really does NOT need anything. It seems like a waste to get him anymore toys.
So what do I do? I don't mind having a party for him, that's not the point. But I just don't want people to give him clothes or toys that he doesn't need! If someone feels the need to give him something, I'd rather they just stick money in a card and be done with it. We save every bit of money anyone gives the kids. They each have an envelope and eventually will have a bank account that we save all of the money in. Ryan and I don't touch it. So how do you tell people to give money over a gift if they choose to give? Is that rude? Some may say no, others may say yes. Some may say its wrong not giving him something to open on his birthday. But really, why? He is young enough, that he doesn't care about those things now. Once he gets older and understands what money is about, he will be thankful to have that money that we saved up for him.
I don't know. Like I said, I am not really sure how to handle it all. Party or no party? Gifts of crap that he doesn't need or money? And it would be fine with me if people just sent a card.

Monday, December 26, 2011

How was Christmas?

The weekend really went too fast. Everything went great. Christmas eve dinner was a success. Almost everyone was there. We were missing a few people. Food was good, and there was more than enough. The boys were very happy with thier gifts. Christmas morning also went well. We got up, got the boys up and then opened gifts. While we were opening gifts, the cinnamon rolls were fnishing baking. When we finished gifts, they were hot and ready to eat. The boys loved them. It was a pretty typical Christmas. I am sad that it is all over so quickly. I really enjoyed it all. The boys love all of thier gifts, and I am more than thankful for everyone giving them gifts. Here are pictures from Christmas morning. I am not going to show the other photos from Christmas eve or the rest of Christmas day because there are other people in them. Enjoy!




























I hope you all had a nice Christmas weekend!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

Can't keep my eyes open

I haven't been sleeping well these last few nights. Really its nothing new I guess. It happens a lot. But I am tired. I just want a decent night sleep. I don't know if I will be able to stay awake this afternoon or not! Once the boys wake up, I still have quite a few things that I need to get done this evening before tomorrow. I just tried to do too much. My big mistake? Sugar cookies. They are too much work. Too much work for one stinking cookie. I still need to ice them. I've done dishes twice this morning. Too many dishes. I need to do more before dinner. And then of course will need to do more after dinner. I need a shower too.
Yes I am tired and yes I am complaining. But I do all of this because I want to. I look forward to it. Maybe next year I will just skip the sugar cookies though, haha!
I don't know when I will see you all again! Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 22, 2011

What are you serving?

Do you have your Christmas menu planned? I think I've got mine ready to go. So I wanted to share with you and maybe offer you some ideas if you aren't sure.
We are having Ham. I nice large, bone in Ham. The only way to serve ham is to serve one with a bone. It adds so much more flavor and helps to keep it moist. Mom is making a turkey breast also. Got to have a bit of variety just in case...its nice to have that little bit of everything. Mom will also make dressing. Not a lot, just enough because we know that not everyone will eat it. Of course we will have mashed potatoes and gravy. I am also adding sweet potato casserole this year. I tested it out a week ago and it was pretty good. I am using a recipe I found from AllRecipes.com. You can find it HERE. I am changing it a bit though and will bake the sweet potatoes instead of boiling them. They just taste better that way. We will have corn and green beans. My Aunt is making noodles...from scratch. I am making deviled eggs as well. The recipe is loosely based on the one from Betty Crocker. I adjust the amounts a bit, and add some pickle juice for a bit of a bite. They turn out so good usually! And of course rolls! The rolls from a post I did a while ago and you can find it HERE. Although, I will make them smaller because of all of that food we are having!
Desserts will be brownies, pecan pie (that I bought from the store), sugar cookies, and dirt dessert. The brownies are a box mix. I have tried making brownies from scratch and just haven't gotten them right for some reason. So I am sticking with the box. The sugar cookie recipe came from Betty Crocker again. And if you want the recipe for the dirt dessert, or you just want to see what exactly dirt dessert is, well then go HERE. It came from Taste of Home.
I don't think I am forgetting anything....We have quite a bit of people to feed, so we usually do have a lot food around. I am of course hoping for leftovers as well. I look forward to the leftovers almost as much as the meal itself!
I would like to hear what you all are planning!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

4 Days...right?

Yeah, yesterday was rough. We are past it, and I think I'm going to leave it at that. Really the only thing I managed to get accomplished was making the sugar cookie dough. I am adding sugar cookies to the list of desserts for my Christmas Eve menu.
Every single gift is wrapped now. Some things are under the tree. Most stuff is still upstairs hidden away. Today was the last day of school for Dylan until after the new year. It just maybe a long week in between Christmas and New Years. Today is also the first time we have seen the sun in a few days. Its nice. It helps improve the mood. I think that I have said that a few times here. But really, it does. I got some of our Christmas cards hung up. I have a picture to show you:
They are hanging facing the kitchen. Behind them is the dining room. I have more to add, but I just didn't get to it yet. I have so much stuff that I didn't get accomplished today. And it probably wont happen this evening. The evenings around here are busy enough with dinner and dinner clean up. I wish I didn't have to cook dinner at all this week. Well except for Christmas eve dinner.
This morning it was raining, kind of hard. The rain was hitting the window, it was extra dark and at 8 am both kids were still asleep. I had to wake them up this morning to get going. Now, in this next week and a half that we wont have to be out the door at a certain time, they wont do that again. Mommy will be up early with Ethan, the early riser.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Blah

Long day. Rough morning and afternoon. And the internet isn't working great. See you all tomorrow. Hopefully it will be better. I still need to get through the rest of today....Ahh!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Less than one week

...and Christmas is here. I am so excited. Like I have said before, it snuck up on me, but I think that after today, I am ready. I am waiting on the last of Dylan's gifts to get here and then I will finish wrapping all of the gifts. I got most every one's wrapped over the weekend. I think I finished the grocery shopping for the meal on Christmas eve. I don't think I forgot anything! At least I hope not. The rest of the week will be filled with some baking that I can do ahead of time, and gift wrapping. After Wednesday, Dylan is out of school until after the new year. Someone want to take my kid for a week? No? Well I tried.
Over the weekend, Dylan was with my grandparents. Ethan and I spent the morning on Saturday out running errands. Last minute gifts, some groceries and then home. I also made a batch of cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning. Ever since I was given my bread maker, I have been making cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. This year though, I wont have much time Christmas eve to make anything like that. So I found a method here on the Internet, that told me how long to pre-bake them and then on Christmas morning, while we are opening gifts, they will finish baking, and we will have hot and fresh cinnamon rolls. They are in the freezer now just waiting for us. The kids will love them!
I am so tired right now. It seems like this morning flew by. I rushed around all morning getting the kids out the door and Dylan to school, then we rushed through the grocery store because I had another stop I had to make before we picked Dylan up. All Ethan has wanted to do all morning is eat. Finally at lunch, I stuffed him full of food and then sent him off to nap time!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Santa came to town

Last night was the Santa visit up at the firehouse. Here are the photos of the boys. Ethan did shockingly well. He cried when I put him on Santa's lap. When Ryan put him on Santa's lap, he was fine. Explain that to me! I totally expected him to cry with Santa. I guess I was half right, haha!






Remember me telling you about how Ethan got a black eye? Well if you look at the picture well enough, you can see his black eye. It is getting better, but taking a while.
Stayed busy this morning. I have a to do list a mile long. Stuff I need to get done before Christmas Eve. I am working on it. While the boys were eating lunch, I made a quick double batch of Chimichurri Sauce. I love that stuff!!!! We are having steak tonight, which is perfect for chimichurri! And I think Im going to make the pressure cooker mac and cheese to go with it. The boys will love that.
Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Homemade Gifts

Dylan has a gift exchange coming up next week. They wanted inexpensive gifts from each kid. So, I put together a set for hot cocoa! I found a simple recipe online and made up a hot cocoa mix. Found mugs for only a $1! Once I got the mix made, Dylan helped me put them together. Here it all is from start to finish:




Monday, December 12, 2011

Weekend Review

Not a whole lot to report. We did get the tree up. I went to hang the stockings on the wall with my 3M hooks (I love those things). I then realized that I didn't have but 1 of the sticky things that hold the hook on the wall. So right now they are sharing a hook until I get back to Wally World. The only thing we did this weekend was go to the firehouse for the Christmas party. That night was....interesting. Is that the right word? Anyway, Ethan was quite fussy. He didn't want anyone talking to him or touching him. He was fussy through the meal. He didn't eat well. I don't know. There didn't seem to be any obvious reason for his crabbiness, but usually there isn't. Meal was over and the kids were all running around playing and Ethan ventured away from Ryan and I...a little. He didn't play with the other kids though. He just watched, and entertained himself. Right before we were getting ready to leave he fell off of a chair an busted the corner of his eye on the corner of the computer cpu. Nice. The next day, and still, it looks like he was punched in the eye. It is black and blue all around, not just in the corner. I swear that kid has gotten more bruises in the last 6 months than Dylan has in his 5 years! This was a good one though. I was honestly a little afraid to take him to the grocery today. You know how people can be. Ive got a little kid with a black eye. I was afraid of what they would assume. But you have to do what you have to do.
Tonight Dylan has his Christmas program at school. I am looking forward to it. Ryan's dad is going to come down and keep Ethan here at home. I know that boy will not sit through the program, and I really want to see the program. I don't want to have to go sit out in the car with Ethan. I plan to record the program though. I have the camcorder up and ready to go. So people will be able to see the program if they'd like to. Dylan knows all of his songs. Between the little bit of practicing they did in class and the practicing we did here at home, he's got them down.
On Wednesday, I hope to get the boys up to the firehouse to see Santa. I know that Ethan will not sit on his lap, but I still want Dylan to see Santa. So that is the plan as of now.
Here is the Christmas tree!


Friday, December 9, 2011

Dinner...YUM

So the lasagna I made last night turned out great. The hard part was letting it sit and cool a bit before we could eat it! The whole wheat noodles worked perfectly and I wouldn't use anything else in my lasagna again. Along side the lasagna I made breadsticks. But not just any ordinary breadsticks my friends. No, these breadsticks were modeled after Olive Garden's breadsticks! We all know how good those things are, right?! So there is this other blogger out there calling herself The Country Cook. And she shared this recipe to her readers. So I got the recipe from her. And if you want the recipe, that's where you should go. But if you email me I can always give it to you also. This was my first time making breadsticks. So I was a little unsure about how to go about shaping them. And the recipe warns, to watch how big you make them because they do rise...a lot. So here is my finished product:












So yeah...mine came out more like mini loaves instead of breadsticks, lol. BUT! they tasted great. They were soooo close to the original. Next time, I will start with a much much smaller stick that I did this first time. But hey, all that matters is how they tasted right?! Light, fluffy and sooooo good.

Ryan got the tree out of the basement and I got it put up last night. Today during naptime/quiet time, I got it decorated. All that is missing are the gifts underneath. Speaking of that, I need to finish my shopping. Not everyone is taken care of yet and this month is going by fast. I did take pictures of the tree, which I will share tomorrow. Today was the first time in weeks I even picked up my poor camera.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Food...

...that is all I am thinking about right now! I am so hungry or some reason. I ate lunch. Just hungry.
I feel productive this morning. I got a lasagna put together so that all I have to do tonight for dinner is toss it in the oven. I knew that if I didn't assemble it early, that I would never feel like doing it later. I made it with whole wheat noodles, which I have never done before. Actually I have only made lasagna once or twice, so its not like its every month. I'm excited for the whole wheat. Its bath night too, which is the perfect night to serve lasagna. I know Ethan will be a mess!
After the lasagna, I worked on making the hot cocoa mix that I am making for Dylan's gift exchange at school. I had enough ingredients to make quite a few batches so that each kid will get a decent amount of cocoa mix as their gifts. I will show you all the final product once it is ready. That took a while. You have to break the mix down into a very fine powder so that it will dissolve when you go to make your hot cocoa. And since I don't have a food processor, I used my blender. And had to do it in very small batches. I need to run it all through one more time I think. That will happen another morning. After Ethan went down for his nap and Dylan was in his room for quiet time, I bathed the dog. She wasn't thrilled, but neither was I. I don't think it helped much though. I need to find some sort of doggy perfume for her.
We finally have some sun today. We haven't seen that for a while. Its a nice change and helps improve the mood. I think that I am going to make Ryan drag the tree out of the basement this evening and help me put it up. This month is moving a lot faster than I thought it would. If I'm not careful, it will be Christmas before I know it, and I still wont have the tree up! He wont be thrilled about it, but I will bug him until he does.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Is there a Rewind button?

Long morning. Its been raining for 24 hours now and still going strong. I hate it. We didn't do much over the weekend. I did make it out yesterday and did a few things. I got the boys their Christmas ornaments. I had a list for each boy of which ornament I wanted. All that was left was last choice. Guess I need to go out around Halloween and buy their ornaments so I can get the ones that I want. I checked 3 stores that sells those Hallmark ornaments and most were gone. Whatever, at least I found something cute.
Again, long morning today. Ethan did not sleep well last night, which means that I did not sleep well last night. I have had a headache (again) since yesterday evening. The frickin thing will not go away! Getting ready to leave this morning, I fell and rolled my ankle. I don't know how I did it, but I did. It hurts all the way up to my hip. Surprisingly there is no swelling. Just pain. We all managed to get out the door though and on time. With all of the trips in and out of the car, I have been soaked many times today. Ethan was cranky all morning which didn't help things. The kid just needs to sleep when he is supposed to and we'd all be happy. Id like to start the day again, with out the rain and without the pain.
Tomorrow we have to leave the boys at home to take care of some family business. One of my Aunts (thanks Donna) is going to come up in the morning to stay with them. And as usual, I am worried about how Ethan will get a long. Will he cry for 10 minutes or 3 hours? Its a given that he will cry. Just how long, I don't know. And I'm not so much concerned with his crying. My concern is with who has to listen to it. Who has to try to calm him down. I feel bad putting all of the screaming on to someone else. I feel bad anytime I leave him with someone other than Ryan. I feel bad for the other person. Ethan needs to get used to being with other people though. He needs to be ok with me leaving him every now and again. My poor Aunt. She will be so tired of Ethan after tomorrow. Send him some "no crying" vibes. And send me some "stop worrying about it, there is nothing you can do" vibes.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Bissell Perfect Sweep

I was offered a chance to try out this new sweeper from Bissell. I already own a steam mop from Bissell that I love. We bought it years ago. So, knowing how good Bissell products are, I decided to give it a try! The Bissell Perfect Sweep Turbo is a battery powered sweeper. Don't let the words "battery powered" scare you though. It is a rechargeable battery that offers 60 minutes of sweeping time! The sweeper takes up no storage room at all. When I got it, all I had to do was put the handle together. It took one minute to assemble! So easy. Then I let it charge. Really I couldn't wait to use it. Here's why:
We keep the dog's food in the corner of the kitchen. That dog can be so messy. The poor thing doesn't have much of a snout (she is a pug), so she tend to push food around quite a bit. So instead of having to pick up that food by hand or get out the big sweeper for a tiny mess, I used the Perfect Sweep to pick up the dog food! In less than a minute, the mess was gone. I also have found out that it is useful for the litter that the cat tends to track outside of the cat box. If for nothing else, that sweeper is worth gold cleaning up that cat litter! We only have one room in this whole house that has carpet. I will wear that sweeper out. You know another benefit to a small, lightweight sweeper? The upstairs. I struggle each time I have to lug the big sweeper up and down the stairs. Now, I have the Perfect Sweep, so that I don't have too. All we use the upstairs for is our bedroom. This sweeper is a fast and easy way to quickly clean the floors.
So once you clean up your little messes, it is easy to clean out the sweeper. The dirt container, simply pops off, you dump it in the trash, snap it back on and you are ready to go again. I have had this thing for about a week now. I love it. Really love it. I have used it in every room with a hard floor. It works great to pick up even the fine things like dog hair and cat hair.
You want to know what else is cool? YOU can save $5 off the price of the Perfect Sweep by going to Bissell.com and ordering the sweeper. At checkout just enter the code "perfectsweep" to get your $5 off!!! And, now, Bissell is offering free shipping with your sweeper purchase! You can also find the Perfect Sweep at Walmart, Kohls, Lowes, or Best Buy. But remember, if you want that $5 off, and free shipping, order from Bissell.com.
Here is my sweeper. Notice it does have dirt on it. I have been using it you know!
And here is the dirt container as I am pulling it off. So simple!
And a short video of me cleaning up a mess from the dog food. And of course my little shadow had to be right there. You will notice Ethan's toes haha!
video
If you want more details on the Perfect Sweep, check out Bissell's website HERE. You can also find Bissell on Facebook. And of course Twitter: @BISSELLclean.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tis the Season

I can't believe that it is December already. This year has flown by. So now that December as begun, I am so ready for Christmas. I have an empty corner in the living room begging for a Christmas tree. It will probably be some time before we actually get it up though. For one, it is physically impossible for me to get that huge box up out of the basement by myself. So Ryan has to be here to do it. Also, I can't get all 3 pieces together without his help. And for another, I'm afraid if I rush getting it up, I will get tired of it by the time Christmas sets in or I will get tired of being after Ethan for not leaving it alone. Granted we will set up a gate around it, but still. Nothing is Ethanproof. I still need to get Christmas gifts for people. And stamps for my Christmas cards.
Speaking of Christmas gifts...I know that not everyone enjoys buying Christmas gifts. Just so happens, I do. I enjoy *thinking* about what to get people. I want them to like it, there for I do my best to put a lot of thought into each gift I give. I may not always succeed, but if I give you something, you best believe that it comes from my heart. All I want when I give a gift is for that person to be happy with what they get. It kind of makes me sad when someone doesn't put thought into gifts. You don't have to give someone a gift if you don't want to. So if you are going to, why not put some thought into it? Sometimes the effort is worth much much more than the gift itself.
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