We had a wonderful time in Nashville, and pictures will follow at a later time. The friend that was suppose to come back with us for the weekend had a work emergency and couldn't come. It was a man Paul knew from Basic Training. They've seen each other for a total of 1 day and yet they have stayed in touch over the past 6 years and were going to meet up again. We were all disappointed to not be able to meet up.
We watched our friends two kids last night and the boys all shared a bath - Judah stayed at their house while we were in Nashville and he fit right in with their family of blonde, curly haired kids :) I took the two above pictures, but was trying to keep the camera dry from their splashes - I gave them a bucket and shovel to play with... not sure why! Boys + bathtub full of water + bucket and shovel = a mess. But a laughing mess.
The boys and I are off to Florida tomorrow - we aren't actually going with Paul, as he isn't able to travel with us, but we'll be tagging along behind.
Again, normal blogging will resume in another week or so :)
There is a cardboard box maze across our living room floor that is giggle-fit inducing to the littles. They have rolled a ball through it. They have played Hungry Hippo in it. They have read books in it. They have sung in it. Drooled in it. Colored and stickered on it. Our left over moving boxes are being put to good use and are being well loved by two little boys.
And it's bringing back great memories :)
One summer when I was little my parents made us a huge maze out of Appliance boxes. I think they collected them from local appliance stores. In my mind it was the mansion of cardboard box mazes. I remember getting lost in it. Surely, it must have been Ginormous!
We have a busy and fun two weeks coming up - we're off to Nashville, and then we have a very special house guest coming for the weekend and then I think the boys and I are going to go with Paul to Florida for the following week. He's got a massive blood drive down there and his hotel is on the beach. The families have been invited to tag along, and I think we just might :) The boys and I will be on our own for most of the day, but I think we'll have a fun time together.
So, all that to say I won't be on here much, if any, over the next two weeks.
I like to try out new things, and almost every time I am at the grocery store pick up something new for us to try out. Most of the time it works out well for us, but this week my choice wasn't so hot! Literally. Cool Soup. I know that cold soup is good, but this stuff in the drinkable bottle is gross. Even Judah wouldn't drink it when I tried passing it off as a "special treat." He took a sip and said; "It's icky momma. You drink it." We're raising a generous boy, eh?
I did have great success with something new I tried creating - Mint Chocolate and Cayenne Pepper covered Strawberries. They're delicious!
I melted mint chocolate chips and mixed in a generous amount of cayenne pepper, stirred it all up and then dipped the (washed and dried) strawberries in the chocolate. The pepper specs showed up in the chocolate once it all dried, and I think it looks so pretty! The flavors go surprisingly well together. I only made up 8 of them, just in case the were "icky." But yummy they were, so I will have to try this again soon!
And then of course we have a tried and true favorite food in our house: Cheerios! Wesley adores them and I think would eat through an entire box in a sitting if I let him. Judah grew out of his Cheerio stage, but is back into them again now that Wezzy loves them so. I once heard the advice that if you were looking to buy a present for your child that he would use/play with a lot, buy him something that his sibling would adore - it works with food too :) If we want Judah to eat something all we need to do is tell him we're going to feed it to Wezzy and he says "OH NO!! I eat it!" And he does. :)
A picture I took and am thinking of blowing up and hanging over our mantle. Just because it's different. Like us.
Next week we'll be celebrating our 4th anniversary - 4 YEARS together!! It has been a marvelous 4 years of growing, learning and dreaming together. In keeping with our tradition we will be celebrating our anniversary in a State we haven't yet celebrated in. This year we'll be going to Nashville, Tennessee for a few days.
In the past 4 years we have: lived in 3 states lived in 5 different homes been in 2 countries (other than the US) and been in 16 states
Hopefully our moving trend has come to an end, however we hope to continue visiting new places together!
A couple months after our engagement. Oklahoma '05
Our wedding. April 23 '05. Toronto, Canada
First Anniversary. Picture taken in Las Vegas. We were in Arizona, California and Nevada for the trip. April '06
Second Anniversary - with Judah! Helen, GA. April '07
Third Anniversary - pregnant with Wezzy. Charleston, SC. April '08
I cut my hair last week - it's a huge change!! I've never had it this short before. I like it a lot. The before picture was me just before a wedding. The after is just before bed. It's not often you see a more glamorous before picture than the after picture, but so far this is the only picture I have of the new do!
I found this old desk at a yard sale for $5! I thought it was super cute and bought it. I am going to redo it eventually, though I am not quite sure how! It'll be perfect for Judah to do his 'school' at :)
We do 'school' almost every day, which involves coloring, letter flashcards and play-do time. Judah loves things that are all his, so I think the desk will be a hit with him once I get it cleaned up and find the perfect spot for it!
Paul and Judah made pizza for us Saturday evening. Judah worked very hard at it, and sneaked in a little bit of everything that went onto the pizza - including some of the flour as the pictures will show :)
I am predicting that by age 3 he will be bringing us breakfast in bed, and by age 4 he'll be responsible for 2-3 dinners a week. (Just kidding!)
But I do love that my 2 year old son loves to be in the kitchen. It's kinda cute. And do you see his adorable apron? My mum made it. It's actually Wezzy's, but he didn't mind his brother borrowing it. Judah's is somewhere in a packing box right now :)
I got this great chair for $5 this past weekend. A local store is closing down and the man is selling all of his wares for cheap. He had the chair marked at $15 and when he saw me admiring it he said he'd sell it to me for $5.
He said he'd had it in his shop for three years and had used it to prop the door open with almost the entire three years.
The chair has a crack in the seat. The entire chair looks weathered and run down. I think it is beautiful. It is a pretty solid chair. I think the man said it was teak.
The man thought it was funny I liked it so much and asked what I would do with it and I told him I wasn't quite sure, but that it would find it's proper place in our home soon enough.
That evening Judah helped Paul make pizza for supper, so we pulled the chair into the kitchen and used it for Judah to stand on.
I think it kind of fits being in our kitchen as a chair for the boys to stand on to reach the counters. Kinda cutesy. But I'll be trying it out in other places around the house too, seeing if I can find the perfect place for our new chair.
*The house update will be done sometime today or tomorrow!! I totally missed it yesterday due to the boys being under the weather.
I love the Annie's Homegrown snack foods, and the little graham bunnies are just perfect for Easter! :) I put some in a baggie for Judah's Easter basket along with a few other treats he'll be quite excited about.
I wanted to share a blog I discovered a few weeks ago and have been loving - I read through every single post of hers! Bakerella creates fabulous cake-related things. She is so creative and her creations are SO cute!
You have to check out what she did with Peeps - I laughed so hard when I saw her PEEP SHOW post. And yes, she was giving away a Nintendo DSi, and yes, the contest is now closed. Sorry I didn't give earlier warning! I actually missed entering the contest too. But check out the pictures of her Peeps! So.very.funny.
I love when mistakes I make turn out to be good things. Like better than if the mistake hadn't happened. Last week I roasted zucchini and yellow squash for Judah and myself for lunch.
We were also eating toast with honey alongside the veggies, and because we're in the middle of unpacking and things are not in complete order (read: we are in complete chaos) I was spreading the honey with a fork. The same fork I was eating the roasted veggies with. The combination of honey with those roasted vegetables was AMAZING! So I put a tiny bit of honey over the rest of the squash and zucchini and we enjoyed the rest of the roasted veggies with a hint of sweetness - so good!
To roast the veggies I sliced them thin, sprinkled with olive oil, salt and pepper and broiled for a few minutes, flipped and broiled for a few more minutes.
These are the Azaleas that are growing in our front yard, they are stunning! And I hope we don't kill them... there are quite a few bushes lining the front of the house, and even more in the backyard. So pretty! These pictures were taken a couple of weeks ago, they no longer look anywhere near this stunning!
Taken on my cell phone. Wezzy snacking on the grass in front of the Azaleas.
I am so excited that it is warm enough to grill outside now - anything cooked over an open fire tastes so much better than cooked indoors in an oven. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that if it needs to be cooked on the grill Paul is the one who cooks it.
We have never been very adventurous with what we grill- generally hot dogs and burgers and corn. But that is going to change this Sping/Summer. I've got a whole bunch of ideas for Paul to grill for us... now we just need to find the grill!
I made these Kabobs for our picnic last weekend. The sausage and potatoes were precooked and they were a cinch to put together and take along with us. And they were quite yummy if I may say so. Can you see the little potatoes? They sort of resemble mushrooms, but they are definitely potatoes. They are called Ruby Gold potatoes and are significantly smaller than Red Potatoes. They are super cute looking, and they were the inspiration behind the Kabobs - I wanted to make something to showcase the potatoes. They're quite a bit more expensive than normal potatoes at $4 for 1.5 lbs, but the cuteness factor was so worth it. :)
Also featured on the Kabobs: green pepper, yellow squash, sausage and white onion. They were sprinkled with Olive Oil and Salt and Pepper. Colorful and Flavorful!
Last year Paul found this box of chess pieces at a yard sale. While packing it up I opened it up and saw the instructions someone had hand written and placed in the top of the box. (click to enlarge if you can't read it as is) It made me smile. Especially the "Yaay! and smiley face at the bottom.
My great Aunt and Uncle (so the boys great-great!) were here a few weeks ago (and I didn't take a single picture!! I can't believe I forgot!) They brought Wesley this Jolly Jumper and he loves it! I think Judah is slightly jealous of his brothers toy, however he gets great delight in swinging him in this and/or twisting him up and letting him unspin. Wezzy is delighted by the attention :)
The other day I went into our backyard and picked one of each unique flower I found - I was impressed with the huge variety of flowers that are currently in bloom, and made up this bouquet for our mantle.
I am thrilled that there are already flowers planted here, as I am pretty much incapable of gardening. Now I just have to figure out how to keep these beauties alive!! I found some flower food in the sun room, so I am guessing the previous owner was feeding the flowers.
But really, right now, flower maintenance is the last thing on my mind. Moving is a lot of work!
Our dining room and formal living room are both under construction at the moment. We tore up the carpeting almost immediately after we got the keys to the house, and we haven't made much headway in the rooms (they open into each other.) We are planning on laying hardwood floor down in the rooms - Paul's going to do it himself! - but we're trying to decide which flooring to buy. I think we've narrowed down to where we'll buy from - Lumber Liquidators was recommended to us by a friend and it has a great variety of flooring options and the best prices we've seen yet. Does anyone have any experience with Lumber Liquidators?
So far no one room is completely moved-into yet, and that is both frustrating and discouraging! The kitchen is pretty close to being organized and everything put away - but I have realized that the original plan I'd made for everything isn't the most efficient, so I am going to have to move some things around. However I think it makes the most sense to wait until everything is put away and I am truly functioning in the kitchen before I reorganize, otherwise I may be moving things around a lot. One thing I have done in the kitchen to help me feel like I am living in our home and not Box-World is to keep it smelling good - sometimes I open the windows to let a nice breeze through, other times burn a candle, or yesterday I put orange peels and cinnamon in some water to simmer for a few hours. It smells SO good and makes me want to be working in the kitchen. And it makes me hungry.
I thought I would start making Mondays my house update/checklist to keep myself accountable and to post pictures of going ons around the house that are getting done.
While no where near completed, our built-ins was a main area of focus over this past week and I like how it is coming together. We're thinking of putting a cork board up behind the computer and painting the back wall behind everywhere else a bold splash of color... but those details won't happen for a while. And yes, that is a row of paint cans on the shelves... they are there to stay. I kind of like what I did with them, and will share at a later time.
By next Monday I would like to have the kitchen in complete order, including a system in place to keep it clean every day. I think that is one of the toughest challenges right now - not only trying to get everything put away but also living in the house and having to keep the every-day messes clean too!
Another goal I would like to finish by next week is to get our laundry closet looking a little more welcoming. It is a gloomy closet at the end of the kitchen, and I'd like to make it a bit more welcoming. Eventually that will involve painting it, but for now I'll go for a few decorations on the shelf and maybe a picture or two on the wall.
A few other items on my checklist that I hope to finish by next Monday:
-Our bedroom closet organizer be put in and all the clothes put in place (this involves removing the built-in shoe organizer and the hanging rod/shelves above it). -Make our bedroom a calm haven from the rest of the chaotic house (this involves a lot of little tasks, mainly removing everything that doesn't belong in there!) -Organize the linen closet in an efficient manner. -Organize the boys room. -Make a run to Goodwill - it is amazing how much stuff we decluttered prior to the move, and now that we're unpacking our stuff it is amazing how much more stuff we're wanting to get rid of! Hurray for decluttering!!
I don't think I ate Asparagus before we got married, and I'm not sure what made me buy it in the first place, but we love it! We ate a lot of it last Spring, and I just bought it this past week for the first time in ages... so, so yummy! Judah adores it too. I bought 1lb of it and cooked it up for an evening snack and it was gone in no time at all. I guess next time I'll do 2lbs.
Judah helped season them with Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper. He went a little heavy on the pepper, but it ended up tasting amazing.
I preheated the oven to 400 F, spread the asparagus in a single layer on the baking sheet (washed, and with the bottom ends cut off) and then put them in the oven for awhile.
I'm not sure how long awhile is. I changed a diaper, switched over a load of laundry, played tag with Judah and sat and talked with Paul for a moment while they were in the oven. I'd say twenty minutes-ish.
That sounds like a productive twenty minutes! If only all my twenty minute spans throughout the day were that productive... that was probably the most productive twenty minutes of my day. Maybe it's telling me I should be eating asparagus more often. Or at least cooking it for twenty minutes in my oven more often.
Eat asparagus. It will make the "awhile" that they are cooking the most productive time of your day.