Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday


Monday, February 18, 2013

Menu Plan

This week I am bringing out the slow cooker! Also, since we are in the season of Lent, our pizza/movie nights are moved to Saturday as we are meat-free on Fridays. Happy cooking!



Do you want a fabulous menu plan freebie, too? Check out this and more of Kelley's creations over at The Grant Life!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

We hope everyone had a fabulous Valentine's Day! We didn't start the week off so hot (or, maybe we did...). Both boys had some goofy fever virus Monday...luckily, everything left as quickly - and oddly - as it came by Wednesday morning. So, Andy was SO glad he was able to go to school for his Valentine's party. Jason was out of town for the first half of the week, too. So, yeah...it was fun. Life of a mama, right?! Anyway, here are some pictures of our Valentine's fun for the week. Enjoy!

I threw this together earlier this month. I had NOTHING on this mantle since taking everything down after Christmas. It was a sad little shelf... But, I got it together!
Items used:
My antique backgammon board
Heart wreath - Target, last one on the shelf...had to grab it, right?
Blue Candle with ribbon I just tied on - Target
"LOVE" and striped party straws - Target
My black candle holder that shows up everywhere holding anything with some ribbon tied around it. 
Little white candle - this is actually a Christmas/winter candle. Smells like pine. 
Had to add in the blue for the boys this year. Andy is all about the "no girl colors" thing now. He told me I could have "a little tiny pink" Thanks, sweetie :)

 Sunday evening tea with a fabulous message from my tea tag! 
It reads: "Where there is love, there is no question." 
Perfect for Valentine's - don't you think?
I love these teas! Yogi Tea is the best!!

Monday morning we headed out to get some meds and such from Publix. I just had to pick up these fancy flowers! I love how they added the sparkles to the blooms! So cute :)

Monday night/Tuesday Morning:
Jason went to the Strong Men Strong Faith Conference Monday night (Which he said was great, by the way. If you have a man in your life - husband, father, brother, friend - he should definitely check it out.) and came home with two dozen Krispy Kreme donuts. Now, if you know my hubby personally, you know he is not really the type that gets suckered into "sweet deal." He said that he since he was near a Krispy Kreme, he decided he wanted a snack. After he picked out 2 he liked, he thought the boys would like the sprinkle hearts. After he had X amount of sweetness, somehow he ended up getting a good deal if he bought 2 dozen. LOL So funny. I just love him!!

 Wednesday night after a full day of feeling awesome and 100% great, Andy and I get to working on Valentine's before bed. He was very particular about which friend got which card. It was SO CUTE!!

 And this picture? He just did that and I happened to snap it. SO CUTE!!! He made that face with every friend!! Love this kid...

 
 Valentine's morning:
Party cups!! Woot!! How cute are these?! When Target put these out in January...they were mine! It is so hard to find BLUE Valentines' stuff. And, love the little strong guy on it! They both say "World's Best" on the side. And, yes! They are the world's best little boys! We love you both SO much!! And, ok, doesn't Andy look like he is totally saying, "Cheese. Take it already." LOL

School party!!
Alex and I came back to Andy's school around lunch time for the party. Alex thought he was cool stuff sitting at the big kid table. He was talking to a little girl while Andy was listening to what the other boys were talking about. These little kids in this class are ADORABLE! They are all the sweetest. Wish I had taken a pic of the little gift we had for his teacher - darn! Andy picked out an awesome coffee cup for her and filled it with candies. She is fabulous and had made Andy feel so welcome. So glad we made the choice in taking him out of that other preschool.

After we left school, we made an impromptu trip to the McWane Center - loved it! NO ONE WAS THERE!!! Always think about what those big kids are doing - hello? School parties. Everyone is AT school! Woot! And, I swear, if I had a room filled with those pokey box things (whatever that is called in the bottom right picture...), these guys would be entertained for HOURS!! I had to drag them away after a while. Too funny!

 Thursday afternoon Andy and Alex made some Valentine's for Grandma and Nana

 Thursday night BEFORE dinner the boys decorated their mailboxes. 
After dinner, they got to see what I put inside while they were finishing up. 
Items inside:
Light up bouncy ball
New pack of crayons
M&Ms
Lightning McQueen Lollipop (yes, from the leftover school Valentine's)
Andy was the sweetest ever and shared his goodies with Alex that he got from school. What a wonderful big brother!!

 Jason came home just in time to say goodnight to them. I found that he left this on the counter for me!! Yummy! Chocolate and wine!!! He is the best!! :) 

Again, we hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day (or week, if you are crazy like us!)!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ash Wednesday {Lent}

Welcome to the season of Lent! This is the season in which Christians prepare themselves for the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I found a great book that helps teach children about the importance of this season of the Liturgical calendar. Jen Steed on CatholicMom.com posted a review about this book last year. I loved that I could use this for my boys this year. It is hard to teach this season to such a young age, but it is possible!

 
  The link to purchase the book on amazon is in her review. But, if you need it now, find a Family Christian Bookstore near you - they carry it (and, if not, they can also order it)! 
 
Earlier this afternoon I cut out spring time shaped (I traced cookie cutters - there are patterns at the end of the book. But, they are very small, so you will need a scanner if you want to use those shapes. These shapes will be used for our Easter tree - this is sort of like a countdown to Easter, but it is not done every day. When Easter is here, the tree will be filled with these flowers, butterflies, bunnies, etc that have been colored/painted/written on and such. I know, not super boy-themed, but for now they still like the bunnies and want to color the flowers for me.

After nap/quiet time, we started making pretzels from the recipe in the book! YUM! There are lots of pretzel recipes on Pinterest if you do not have this book just yet. 

Quick story behind the pretzel: A monk came up with this special bread long ago since fasting was MUCH stricter in those days. He twisted them into a shape that resembled folded arm (in prayer). More about this monk here.  

Also, I remember when I was younger, my mom taught me about the Holy Trinity using pretzels. There are three spaces that make up the pretzel which is like the three parts that make up one God: Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. 

 Andy thought that was a fun story. So while I was getting the rest dinner made and they were working on their pretzels, I overheard him telling Alex the story all over again. So cute!

All done! How fun. Andy got one pretzel twisted pretty well. Then he made wheels...LOL Alex just made a bunch of blobs. It was cute.

They were really yummy, too!


Dinner is served! Today is a no meat day, so tonight's feast - Shrimp and Corn Chowder! YUM!! And, it was even better since today was also a fasting day - meaning, no breakfast or lunch. But, we could have a "meal-ette" as Father W would say!

This is the book that I am working through this Lent. I found a review by Sarah Reinhard, a contributor of CatholicMom.com, on this book last year (here). Basically, this book gives you a task to complete each day that is complimented by a meditation and a how to keep this habit going with practice. For Lent, I am going to learn to simplify.

Today's task was to clean out a junk drawer. Why do we have a junk drawer? We are too busy to put whatever the item is away. We get sidetracked with another task and sweep it away into the junk drawer to take care of at a different time. It's time to slow down and take care of the things that need to be taken care of. It's time to stop hanging on to material items and figure out where our focus should be placed. Do I really need to go to Target tomorrow? Do I really need this or that? Do you? What about those 500 USB cords you have stashed away? How many do you really need? I found out that we had 10 (about 4 of those were different on the opposite ends). Why we had that many I have no idea...but I've taken it down to 5 (the 4 that were different plus and extra that went to out cell phone). The rest are in a box in the garage. I have a bit more space in that drawer now. 

So, what are you doing for Lent? Any good reads? Did you give anything up or are changing any habits?

Mardi Gras!

Woot! Happy Mardi Gras!!! Ok, just pretend yesterday is today for a bit while you check out my little baker man. Andy is such an awesome helper in the kitchen. He's a lot more hand on now that he is claiming he is a "big kid." 

 

We make Paula Deen's King Cake Cupcakes yesterday. They were delicious!


 I had to share this sprinkle picture... See, for whatever reason Publix wasn't carrying yellow and purple sprinkles. They weren't sold out. There wasn't even a spot for them on the shelf. Boo. Lame. So, I headed to the bakery. How weird will it be to ask to buy sprinkles? I wasn't even sure if you could do that. But, yay! $3 later and I have LOTS of sprinkles! Cheaper than buying each color in whatever brand name. Yay, Publix!

My sweet little helper man. He loves putting the liners in and organizing the ingredients on the counter for me.



This was the next job he had to do. I unrolled the crescent rolls and he added the spoonfuls of  the brown sugar, cinnamon, raisin, and pecan mixture. He did a great job, too!

All rolled up and ready to go into the oven!

All done! Don't they look delicious?! 




Wordless Wednesday


Sunday, February 10, 2013

This Week's Eats

Welcome to a week of partying and fasting!? Yes, we are entering the week where the carnival season ends, the season of Lent begins, and Valentine's day. I hope no one went crazy and gave up sweets! ;) Anyway, you will notice that our menus will have a lot more seafood/vegetarian items due to our Fridays of abstaining from meat. Now, on to the menu!

They See Me Rollin'

Andy's working on his trike skills. Check it out!


video


video

Super Heroes in the Gardens

Yesterday was such a fabulous day! We were going to start off with a picnic in the gardens, but wanted it to warm up just a tad bit more, so we had lunch at Chili's first. But, then, we headed out to the Botanical Gardens. These guys had a blast! We didn't take the stroller nor the wagon, so they were quite tired when we finally left.

Wondering about that title yet?

I found some super cute shirts on clearance at Target...and they came with CAPES!! HA!! How stinkin' cute is that?! 

 Their new thing - running hand-in-hand. LOL We have to remind Andy that he can't go super fast so Alex doesn't get dragged behind. Too cute!

 Walking through the trails

 Found a big bird's nest

 Taking a break on a huge rock in the Japanese Garden

 Walking through secret paths

 Alex and I taking a break in one of the gazebos 

 Super Alex liked this one...he wanted to stay inside. 

 A big pond with big fish

Toddler rock climbing :)

Alex's favorite find

Another perfect day with our little family! 

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