Made at Home Junk Food

Onion Rings are one of our favorite junk foods. I'm glad they take a little bit of work to make, otherwise we'd be eating them WAY more often than we should!! What's your favorite junk food to make at home?


He May Talk Like Me, But He Dresses Like You

Paul laughs and says that Judah is *just* like me when he chatters on. And on. And on. Judah comes up with the funniest things to say at bed time, when he is trying to stay up a bit later or trying to keep us in the room with him.
This was a one sided conversation Judah had with me the other night - in the span of about 20 seconds. He's a fast talker!

"Hi Mommy!
Daddy be right back.
I don't want Max. (his stuffed toy from Where the Wild Things Are.)
Bye Max! (Tosses Max over the bed)
There's an Elephant.
Mommy, there's an elephant.
Hi elephant.
It's ok.
It's ok elephant.
Don't cry."

And while Judah definitely gets his gift of gab from ME - he gets his sense of style from Paul. This is what Judah insisted on wearing to church on Sunday:

A red shirt. A pink tie. A black vest. A black jacket. Cars pj pants. Sneakers. And his Curious George book.

Married with Children - date idea #5

I think it is super important to take the time to learn to enjoy the things your spouse enjoys. Paul gets off easy as my enjoyments are cooking and photography - who wouldn't love all things related to those subjects?!

Paul has done an excellent job at learning and enjoying my interests and it really makes life FUN that my husband enjoys the things I do and I can sit down and talk to him about what spices would go well with what kind of meat and I can show him the newest things I have learned with my camera and he gets it. In fact, he gets it so well a DSLR camera for him is next on our list of things to purchase. I LOVE that!!

I have a bit more of a challenge though, as Paul's interests are working out and other rugged, manly activities like mountain biking, kayaking and um. Skydiving. Not that he's done skydiving yet. But he plans on doing it and he thinks I am going to do it with him =)

Before we were married I had never touched a free weight, grunted in public under the strain of something heavy (actually, I had never grunted in public period.), or felt good about being sweaty.
A couple of months after we said I DO Paul signed us up for a gym membership and he introduced me to this strange world of physically exerting yourself by your own free will.
For the past 4 years I have shown various degrees of interest in working out with him. It was easy when we didn't have children - we could go to the gym whenever we wanted (now we need to wait for the nursery to be open!) and I wasn't in a state of constant exhaustion.
I didn't workout through either pregnancy and I asked Paul to leave me alone about working out for the first 6 months following the boys births, and he did.

Oddly enough, over the past few months of working out with Paul - and specifically the past three weeks where we have been serious about working out - I have truly developed an enjoyment for working out.

The point of this all-over-the-place post is this: take the time to learn your spouses hobbies and interests and learn to enjoy them. It's taken me 4 years to say that I truly enjoy working out - and I never would have thought I would say that I enjoy it! Start out by participating in your husbands hobbies because you enjoy being near him and doing things with him, and ask him to join you in your hobbies.

And for a specific date-at-home-while-children-sleep idea: One day Paul came home with a rose and, once the boys were down for a nap, told me we were going to spend the afternoon taking pictures of the rose with military/manly things. It was a cute idea and a fun at home date!
This is my favorite picture from that date:

I blew it up and framed it for his office.

What hobby of yours or your husbands can you enjoy together,and turn into a date?

I Heart My Sons Urologist

When Judah had his circumcision the doctor had to stop mid way through because something didn't look right. We were then referred to a urologist who completed Judah's circumcision without a problem. After that experience I read quite a bit about it and came to the conclusion that we would always see a urologist to perform our sons circumcisions.

We happen to have found a urologist we love. Like I'd almost put a bumper sticker on my car that says I heart my sons urologist, but that just sounds a little wrong. But we do love the doctor. He's got a great sense of humor and we have just connected with him.

When Wesley was born the urologist couldn't perform the circumcision right away (I think he was out of town that week) and when we did make it into his office a few weeks later he was concerned about a hydrocele Wesley had and said that he would wait until Wesley was 1 yrs old and hopefully the hydrocele would go away on its own and if not then he would do both surgeries at the same time.

Long story short, yesterday was the day of Wesley's surgery. Paul wasn't able to be there with me as he had to work, but Wesley was a trooper and did great! The nurses gave him this stuffed tiger before hand and he just cracked up at the sight of the tiger - it was funny watching him :)

While we were waiting in a room for the nurse to take Wesley from me the Anesthesiologist came in the introduce himself to me.
He said to me "Could you please verify the nature of the surgery?"
I said "A circumcision and correctional surgery for the hydrocele."
He said "Very good."
And then turning to Wesley said "What a cute little girl!"
I said "Um. It's a boy."
And he was extremly embarassed and said "Oh yes, the circumcision part should have given that away."

Um. Or his medical chart if you'd read it.

They had Wesley back in surgery for about 3 hours and when I finally got to see him again he was so drowsy and out of it - it was so sad to see! We took him to prayer meeting with us last night as he seemed to be feeling ok, and he was fine. A bit more mellow than normal perhaps. He woke up a couple times through the night crying in pain and I kept him on his pain meds and rocked him back to sleep. Today he seems a bit uncomfortable but is otherwise his enegetic, hungry and cheerful self.

It is hard seeing your child in pain and going through something outside their scope of understanding.


Married with Children - date idea #4

Before Judah was born we did (at least!) weekly dates to the coffee shop. We would take our favorite magazine, book or game and sit with each other. Sometimes we had deep conversations, other times we were lost in our own books. It was cozy. And I think it was Paul's favorite date activity.

We have tried to recreate that same environment here in our home. We buy nicer coffee, brew a pot and sit and relax with each other over a cup of coffee. Or Chai tea :) Chai is a favorite here too.
We've tried to make our back porch a cozy place to sit - special lighting, over sized blankets- and that is where we take our cups of coffee to.

It's not that sitting with cups of coffee on our back porch is a special date activity, but it's recreating a date that we use to love doing that is special.

What was your favorite pre-child outside the house date? Is there an easy way to recreate that in your home to surprise your husband?


Sleeping with Food

The other end of that piece of spaghetti was in his mouth.

Married with Children - date idea #3

We use to get Netflix and I would keep a list of "date movies" in the que and add them to the top of the list when a date night was coming up. We don't do Netflix any more, but we do use Redbox if we are wanting to pick up a movie to watch. Redbox makes it easy to look up and reserve a movie on their website so you aren't stuck standing at the box trying to decide what you want!

We also watch a few TV shows together. We don't have cable tv, but as soon as we can after the shows air we watch them online together.
It's nice having so many shows available to watch online, and while we have very different tastes when it comes to what we enjoy watching we have found a few that we both really enjoy.

Looking Up

A lone bird on a telephone wire.


Married With Children - date idea #2

We love games. love.love.love them! I am always on the lookout for new 2 player games for us to play. From board games to card games to computer games to Wii games - we enjoy them all. We enjoy the competition and will usually play for a couple hours at a time.
We usually make a snack to go along with our game and if it's a board or card game we sit on our back porch to play.

We go through phases as to what our "go-to" game is, but some of our favorites have been:

Sudoko - we print them and race each other
Wooly Bully
In a Pickle
Connect 4
Wii Sports
Mario Kart (Wii game)
Pool (from Yahoo games)
Poker (from Yahoo games)

What are your favorite 2 player games?

A Red Brick Building

My brother chose to spend 4 weeks of his summer vacation with us. We're at the halfway mark now and we just love having him here. He has given Paul and I the opportunity to go out and do things together and loves playing games like Settlers with us - which, sadly, we've played almost every evening he's been here.
The other day I took him exploring for cool picture taking places and we came across this old winery that is no longer in use. We had fun taking pictures around the building and then made it into the car just before it started raining!
These are some of my favorites:


Married With Children - date idea #1

Paul and I both enjoy being in the kitchen together and one of our frequent date nights is to cook a nice meal or snack together. We feed the boys and put them to bed a bit early, pour ourselves a glass of wine and then work on our meal together. It takes a bit of pre-planning as I try to have a lot of the meal prep done, but it is a relaxing and fun activity to do together and then we get to sit down and enjoy eating our meal together!

One of our favorite things to create is sandwiches and then grill them. We mix various seasonings with sour cream, use different meats and cheeses and put it all between two pieces of bread and put it in the George Foreman grill. Pizza is another fun thing to make together, as well as onion rings!

A New Skin Treatment - 2 yr old style

This boy loves a little bit of chip with his dip and when he was left alone for a few minutes he took advantage of the jar of yumminess and exfoliated his body and clothes with it.
We all had a good laugh and then dumped him, fully clothed, into the bathtub.

Lesson learned: never leave dip and children together unattended.



Head over to Lucky to be Blessed for a chance to win one of her adorable signs!! If one of YOU win then I win something too - so make sure to tell her you came from here!!
I am just loving her " (last name) Established (year you're married)" sign - ADORABLE!! I would love one of those for our home!

Married With Children

Before we had children we use to do all sorts of fun dates. One of my favorites was when Paul said he would pick the activity and I had to pick the location and pack a picnic lunch. I chose to go to a local park and had some cutesy picnic foods packed. Paul's surprise activity turned out to be sun catchers for us to paint together, so we sat in the park painting sun catchers together. It was so much fun and we kept the sun catchers around for a couple years.

Since our boys entered the world our dates outside the home became a lot less frequent, but we have attempted to maintain a weekly "date night" at home after they go to bed.
Spending intentional time together is so very important. I don't think I can emphasize that enough! It's not about getting dressed up for a fancy dinner at a local restaurant. Or about watching the newly released movie at the theater.
Keeping that element of fun alive in your marriage is important no matter where you're at in life, but for the next week or so I am going to share ideas and suggestions for date night if you are married with children.
Of course if you do not have children they are still ideas you can use, but the ideas are all things you can do from home during nap or after their bedtime.

I'd love it if you join in the comments with your own ideas!
Do you and your husband do date nights? How often? Do you do the dates at home or get someone to watch your children?


These flowers were in my friends garden. So pretty!

Pet For A Day

A couple weeks ago a friend brought over a puppy for an afternoon. Judah fell in love with the puppy and if puppies cleaned up after themselves and slept through the night I would totally get one for him! But as it is, puppies are a ton of work and I am not willing to put out the effort a puppy would require. So no pet for Judah!
The last few pictures just melt my heart!

Wesley couldn't stand the puppy and crawled away as fast as he could every time he saw the puppy. I think he felt his position as youngest/cutest/baby was being challenged.


An Albino Dinosaur

This toy dinosaur of Judah's kind of disturbs me.

An Albino Dinosaur.

There probably really was such a thing though - this is a real Albino Alligator (or was it a Crocodile?? Totally cannot remember!) that we saw at a Gator Farm in Florida.

He was fascinating to look at.

Facebook Housecleaning

Picture from '05 in our first apartment.

There aren't many things that Paul and I totally disagree on, but one of the things we do disagree on is our Facebook Friends. Or, more accurately, who should be our FB friends. I routinely delete people on FB that I haven't talked to or that haven't talked to me. Paul has never deleted a FB friend. And I think he's truly horrified that I delete people. I don't mean to offend people, I'm just not interested in collecting as many friends as possible, and if 'Friend X' and I don't chat, comment on each others status or pictures or have any communication at all - well, I have no issues with deleting the person from my list of friends.
Does that make me horrible? Do you delete people from your FB list?

(The correct answers would be "no" and then "yes"!!)


How to Bring a Wet iPod Back to Life

Have you ever thought about what your super hero name would be if you were a super hero?

Ya. Me neither.

But I am thinking I should start thinking about a name because twice now I have saved the life of an iPod.

An Electronics Hero.
Can you imagine how geeky my hero name would be?!

Superhero names aside, I really have rescued two iPods from near-death due to accidental drownings. First was my brother's, who put his iPod through a cycle in the washing machine. The second one was my husband's, who left his outside during a rain storm.

What to do when your iPod gets soaking wet:

1. DO NOT TURN IT ON. This is super, super important. My brother didn't listen to this step and while his iPod did work again the volume button was stuck on LOUD. I think if he'd listened to my steps he'd of had a fully functioning iPod. So trust me on this one. DO NOT TURN A WET iPOD ON!

2. Get a ziplock bag and fill with rice. Put your iPod (and headphones) in the bag of rice.
Paul has nice headphones and they got soaked and so he 'riced' them with his iPod and they work perfectly now!

3. Leave the bag for at least 12 hours. This is probably the hardest part because I know you'll be dying to see if the iPod will work, but let the rice soak up the moisture for as long as possible.

4. After 12+ hours have passed test your iPod. I can't promise you that it will work, but it has two times out of two for us, and in both cases the iPods were soaking wet.

Tuck this piece of information away in your mind - I read about this six years ago and it wasn't until seven months ago that I had the need to try to rescue an iPod. You never know when you will need to be an electronics super hero :)

(And I am sure this tip would work with other small electronics, I just haven't tested it on anything else!)

This post is part of WFMW

What's In An Egg?

Somehow Paul is convinced I make THE best egg sandwiches.ever.
I'm not sure why he loves them so much - it's just egg, mayo, salt, pepper and green onions if I have them on hand.
But he seriously adores the egg sandwiches and actually had told other people how much he loves them. And he all but begs me to make them for him.

I gotta say, it's pretty sweet being able to make something so simple and get such great rave reviews on it!

For something so simple and easy to make I really don't make it enough for him.

How about you? Is there something simple that your husband loves that you could do to bless him?


Why I Bought Green Beans

I bought green beans because they had little brown bags for you to put them in.
I love brown paper bags. So cute.

Yard Sale/Thrift Store Finds

I haven't posted yard sale finds in awhile.
This weekend I hit several yard sales and our Goodwill - I don't like our local Goodwill very much as they generally price things a bit high but I happened to be in on the day all kids clothes were $1 and they had some household items priced really low. Here are some of the household items I picked up this weekend:

I got this gorgeous glass bowl for $2. A friend of mine has one just like it that I have admired since I first saw it. It's got a hallowed out part you can get to through the bottom of the bowl and you can fill it with decor to match the holiday. Right now I am loving it with no decorations, just holding lemons. (Which are .19 cents each at the grocery store right now!! We're making lots of LEMONADE these days!)

A brand new-in-the-box punch bowl with 6 glasses. It will double as a deep salad bowl or trifle bowl should I need either :) It was $5.

This three tiered dessert stand was $2. I need to find the perfect plates for it. I love how simple it is, it will blend in easily with any setting and can be decorated easily if I feel like making it look more festive.

And my favorite piece is this long candle holder. It was $8 which is more than I normally pay for second hand decorating pieces, but I have wanted something like this for AGES! It goes perfectly on our long dining room table.

Thrifty Treasures


Judah Funnies

I adore Judah's developing vocabulary and grasp on when and how to use words. He LOVES to talk and delights us daily with funny responses or random one liners that he throws at us. There's no way I can keep up with them all, but here are a few that I have written down recently;

When Judah wants the window rolled down he says “I want the window off the car.” When he wants the window rolled up he says "Put the window on please."

One day we were sitting beside each other and he passed gas. He looked all around and then to me and said “Did you hear it?”!

Judah hurt his foot and was telling me it hurt and then said “Put on diaper rash cream?”

I was singing him a song while we were waiting in the car and he said “No mommy. Judah no like your singing.”


Baby Faces

I remember when Judah was a baby someone laughing at the amount of pictures that I took of him. When they found out I was pregnant with Wesley they said "Well, this is when the picture taking will slow down."

Well, it hasn't.
In fact the amount of pictures I have taken has increased significantly.

I think I have an addiction with taking photographs of my children.
Do you think there is a self help group for that?

I checked my "2007" folder - the year Judah was born- and it has 5,000 images in it.
And then I checked the "2008" folder - the year Wesley was born - and it has 8,000 images.

I love living in a digital age where it's possible to both take thousands of pictures of your children AND store thousands of pictures of your children with minimal cost and space!

TGI Friday's

Sorry for the poor image - I snapped a quick picture right before opening it up for dinner :)
I wanted to mention this deal because if you already eat at TGI Friday's it is a pretty good deal. These Skillet Meals are $7 at my Walmart and inside is a $5 off a $15+ purchase at the restaurant. If you already eat at TGI Friday's than this is a decent deal.
The skillet meal was tasty but small. I made it while Paul was away hoping there would be leftovers for another meal, but the boys and I finished it off in one sitting. It was a fun treat to get, and we have a giftcard to use at TGI Friday's so we'll enjoy the $5 off coupon!
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