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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Well I pretty much failed at this pumpkin recipe a day thing, and even writing in this blog in general, but not without good reason.

For the last 3 weeks I've been tired half asleep, looking at food in general has been hard, cooking it and eating it even harder. And all because of a new little pumpkin we're adding to our family in June!

In the past we've waited until I'm 12-13 weeks along to share the news, just to make sure that everything is "okay", but I was pregnant in June, for just a few weeks and everything did not end "okay". It was a really hard thing for us to go through emotionally, and was made even harder by the fact that no one knew. You don't exactly go around announcing that you are an emotional mess because you just had a miscarriage to people who didn't even know you were pregnant.

So this time, we're sharing the news, we're telling everyone, we're getting excited, we're asking for prayers, because even if something does happen, we'll need the support, and want others to know instead of hiding it like it didn't happen.

So please, pray for us and our baby, I'm further along now than I was last time, I've had an ultrasound, saw a nice strong heartbeat, and everything looks great! But we'd still appreciate the thoughts and prayers for the next 30ish weeks until the baby is here.

I'll write some more about my thoughts later, it's been a very interesting road to finally be where we are now. Pretty much God is faithful, and I need to remind myself of this far more often than I do!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Noah 4

I can't believe he is 4 today! Here's his list of 4 year old answers, to compare to last year, check out this post 

1. What is your favorite color? Orange
2. What is your favorite toy? Toy Story Legos
3. What is your favorite fruit? Pears
4. What is your favorite tv show? Thomas
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Sausage Soup
6. What is your favorite outfit? A Superhero one
7. What is your favorite game? Lego Pirates
8. What is your favorite snack? Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
9. What is your favorite animal? A cow
10. What is your favorite song? "Lay Me Down"
11. What is your favorite book? "Green Eggs and Ham"
12. Who is your best friend? Uncle Ben and Uncle Joey
13. What is your favorite cereal? Pink (we don't really eat cereal, I'm not sure he knows what it is!)
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play with the wagon
15. What is your favorite drink? Juice and water
16. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Nighty nights
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Sandwiches
19. What is your favorite thing to eat for dinner? Macaroni and cheese that I like (as oppose to the kind I made once with vegetables) and stir fry too, and all of the food!
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? Be a mommy Me: What about a daddy? Noah: oh yeah! A daddy! And then we will have two daddies, and you won't have any boys.


Friday, October 5, 2012

Pumpkin Zucchini bread

I had some shredded zucchini in the freezer that I have been wanting to bake up into bread, but I've also been wanting to do some pumpkin recipes. I solved the dilemma by putting my ideas together.

I didn't invent pumpkin zucchini bread, but it sure is tasty

Here is the recipe I used, with a couple of little changes based on what I had in my cupboard


Ingredients

  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini

Directions

  • In a bowl, combine eggs and sugar. Add pumpkin, butter and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients; gradually add to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Stir in zucchini and nuts. Pour into two greased and floured 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pans. Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until breads test done. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack. Yield: 2 loaves.
 



Thursday, October 4, 2012

Pumpking Frozen Yogurt

This is a *really* easy one...if you have an ice cream maker. If not, you should get one, I love mine!

Anyway, there are only 4 ingredients, and all you do is mix them together. I used this recipe, but made one small change, and doubled it. Here is my version

Ingredients

2 cups yogurt (I used greek yogurt, if you are using something not so thick, strain it for a few hours with cheesecloth first)
2 cup pumpkin puree
4 tablespoons sugar (here is my change, I doubled the sugar, before that it was very bitter still, this is not even close to overly sweet)
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Mix everything together, put it in your ice cream maker and churn!

Normally I have to freeze things for a little bit afterwards to get them to firm up, this was perfect right out of the ice cream maker. SO good, and good for you too! Especially if you cut back on that sugar like the original recipe


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Pumpkin Cake in a Mug

I really wanted something pumpkin-y for breakfast this morning, but the kids were not in the mood. So I started searching for a pumpkin cake in a mug recipe, and this is what I came up with first, quick and simple.

Ingredients
1 egg
2 tablespoons skim milk
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
7 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Dump all ingredients into a large mug, mix with a fork. The other recipe said to use a whisk or a fork, I tried the whisk first since I love whisked, bad idea. There was not enough room in the mug to move it around enough to mix, and the batter just stuck inside the whisk. Using a fork worked MUCH better.

Put in the microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds and check. Keep cooking for 30 seconds at a time until finished. Mine was probably done in about 1 minute and 45 seconds, and I will probably just set the time for that next time.

And that's it! It's moist, the perfect size for breakfast, and it took me less than 5 minutes from start to finish.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pumpkin Apple Muffins

We wanted some muffins for breakfast this morning, but were fresh out of eggs. I'd heard people say that you could substitute applesauce for eggs in some recipes before, so decided to give it a try and sort of made up my own recipe taking bits and pieces from others (to make sure it wasn't just a ball of crumbs in a muffin liner) and the result was amazing! I have to write it down right away before I forget what I did.

Makes 12

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups flour
1t baking powder
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup of applesauce (I used homemade chunky applesauce that we made earlier in the week, just apples heated in the crockpot with some cinnamon and then mashed with a potato masher when they got soft)
1t pumpkin pie spice
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2t baking soda
1/2t salt

Cinnamon Sugar Topping
1T sugar
1t cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Put the pumpkin, oil, applesauce, pumpkin pie spice, sugar, baking soda and salt in mixer and beat well with whisk (or use a bowl and whisk, I love my mixer too much to use anything else)

add flour and baking powder and mix just until the flour is incorporated into the mixture

Divide evenly into muffin tin

Mix cinnamon and sugar together for topping and sprinkle over the tops

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a knife or toothpick comes out clean from center

Enjoy! They are so moist and tasty! We devoured 12 of them in no time between the four of us for a perfect breakfast

Monday, October 1, 2012

Pumpin Spice Latte


It's that time of year again! I have lots of new pumpkin recipes to try out, and hopefully I get through most of them.

Life's a little crazy at the moment, as we are still adjusting to preschool and an extra toddler around here a few days a week, but I'm going to do my best to try and keep up with this anyway!
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I've tried out a crock pot recipe before, and it pretty much just tasted like warm milk with pumpkin puree in it. So I went searching for another recipe and decided to give this one a try.

It's pretty simple, quick and you don't need any extra equipment to make it

Here is the recipe from the blog, but I have to confess that aside from the milk, I didn't measure anything, just sort of put in what felt right, the recipe is a good guideline though

Ingredients
  • 1 cup coffee
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1T pumpkin puree
  • 1t brown sugar
  • 1t vanilla extract
  • 1/4t pumpkin pie spice (I used the pumpkin pie spice recipe I shared last year)

Put the milk, pumpkin, brown sugar, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice in a microwaveable bowl (I just used the measuring cup)

Whisk together and microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds or until hot, but not exploding :)
mmmm ready to go in the microwave

My blurry, sleepy, morning helper

Pour milk into a large mug filling about halfway, fill the rest of the mug with coffee

You can then add more cream or sugar as needed. I put about a teaspoon of sugar in and it was perfect

Drink!

It doesn't taste like a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte, but it is good, and definitely not as milky or watered down as the crock pot recipe I've tried before.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Lego Party!

Nathan's Lego party was yesterday, and in typical Sara fashion, I misplaced my camera during the first 5 minutes of the party and didn't take a single picture. Luckily my family pulled through and took some for me to use.

Probably my favorite part of the party, Nathan's cool guy Lego cake. I'm hoping if I remember, to make a post dedicated just to making this guy. I followed another blog, but there were definitely some things I learned along the way!

Marshmallow pops! Some of these were much cuter than others, this picture happens to be of the few I did where the pen wouldn't write anymore. But when you don't take a single picture of the day yourself, you can't be picky!
Awesome Lego brick cookies my mom made
Juice boxes
Singing Happy Birthday
He was so excited and I think a little embarrassed that all of the attention was on him!
Elise thoroughly enjoying her cake
I'll spare you 10 picture that look like this with a different box, I've hardly seen Nathan today he is so busy building and playing with all of his new Legos!
Pirate Noah! Missing tooth and all
Anthony and I may or may not be just as excited for Nathan's presents as he was. Here we are discussing what our favorite Lego sets were as kids. After Nathan went to bed, we spent the evening putting together a few of Nathan's more difficult sets that he couldn't do on his own

It's almost that time of year again!

I bought these at the store this week, and can't wait to get started with some of my favorite pumpkin recipes, and to try out some new ones.

Help me decide what to make this year, here is what I have pinned so far, suggest a recipe or share some with me that I haven't found yet!

http://pinterest.com/sara_elise/pumpkin-love/


Friday, September 7, 2012

Nathan 5

1. What is your favorite color? Red
2. What is your favorite toy? A car toy that you push back and it drives
3. What is your favorite fruit? Any kind of fruit
4. What is your favorite tv show? Star Wars, because Star Wars is cool
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Peaches, peanut butter and jelly rolled in a tortilla and cheese its
6. What is your favorite outfit? The red shark shirt
7. What is your favorite game? Lego Pirates and Lego Star Wars
8. What is your favorite snack? Cheese its
9. What is your favorite animal? Giraffe, because it's really cool to be on a giraffe
10. What is your favorite song? I don't like any songs, but I do like making up my own
11. What is your favorite book? The truck book that Sawyer has
12. Who is your best friend? Nicholas
13. What is your favorite cereal? Any  kind
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play with a toy that is a big car that we can drive on the grass
15. What is your favorite drink? Milkshake
16. What is your favorite holiday? Halloween and Easter...and Christmas
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? My nighty night
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Cereal
19. What is your favorite thing to eat for dinner? Hot dogs
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? A train guy like daddy (engineer...but he's not that kind lol)

Check out Nathan's answers when he was 4 http://makingmoremischief.blogspot.com/2011/11/nathan-4.html

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Kids Travel Bags

It's no secret that I love the Target $1 section, 99% of what the kids get in their Easter baskets and Christmas stockings usually come from the $1 section. I'm always on the lookout for high quality items that last, but it's so much fun to have some filler items without breaking the bank!

I wanted to put together little bags for the kids of fun new things for the car during our upcoming beach trip, and Target had all kinds of awesome stuff!

For $24, I bought these 3 bags and everything in them (except the books for Elise's bag, and the crayons)
Excuse the bed pictures, I'm trying to hide them from the kids until our trip
Here is the inside of Noah's bag
He has:
  • a dry erase lap board, lined like handwriting paper so he can practice his letters
  • pack of 3 mini dry erase markers
  • Superhero coloring book
  • ABC practice book
  • Shapes practice book
  • stickers
  • Dr Suess colors and shapes flash cards
  • 2 different treats he picked out himself
  • crayons (from our crayon bin at home)
and all inside a super cute One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish bag

Nathan's is almost identical, but he has some different treats, a Spiderman coloring book, and letters and numbers flash cards inside a Thing 1 and Thing 2 bag...because it's red.

Elise obviously needed some different things, so here is what's inside her bag

  • Sesame Street coloring book
  • Animal crackers
  • Crayons (from our crayon bin)
  • 2 of her favorite books
I'll also tuck a few of her favorite toys in there, and maybe a little baby doll

I'm hoping that these paired with car games, music, and hopefully a couple of naps, will make our trip more enjoyable for everyone!





Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Beach, beach, beach

We're finally going on a family vacation to the beach! It's been a loooooong time. The last time we went, our family looked like this

And I was 5 months pregnant with Noah.

Noah's been to the beach once, waaaaay on the other side of the country when we went to go visit my best friend Danielle. We laugh that the boys have each been to the ocean once, and they were 2 different oceans!

Noah was NOT a fan of the beach, and was even pretty ticked at me for putting him on a blanket on the sand. I'm hoping he enjoys himself a little more this time around.

So it's been a long time for all of us, it's weird to think that Elise is twice as old as either of the boys were during their beach trips. I can't wait to see how they each react when we get there!

I've been going to this beach since I was 8 weeks old
I'm that tiny baby in there!



I spent many vacations there over the years, and can't wait to go back!

We're bringing my sister with us to help out with the kids (and because she is super cool), all she asks in return is that we feed her and let her lay out on the beach during the hot hours in the middle of the day where the rest of us with paler than pale skin will be napping and enjoying the air conditioning. 

Hopefully she still likes us by the end of the trip ;)


Thursday, August 9, 2012

There's a bird in my belly

Just as I was getting ready for bed last night, I heard a noise. It was Noah, wandering around the kitchen holding a hot dog bun.

After I finally got the hot dog bun put away and convinced him that he could have one in the morning, he told me that he couldn't go to sleep, because there was a bird in his belly.

Yep, a bird.

I asked several times to make sure I was hearing correctly, he was indeed throughly convinced that there was a bird in there. When I asked him where it came from, he told me from the umbrella...

He said it was eating things in his belly and he couldn't sleep.

No matter how hard I tried to convince him that it was a dream, he didn't believe me. No wonder this kid has such trouble sleeping sometimes! I would be pretty concerned if I thought there were a bird in my stomach too.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Organization


Yeah, about that...things haven't gone quite as I'd planned. It's August 7th, and my house is only *slightly* more organized than it was January 1st, but the good news is that it IS *slightly* more organized than it was January 1st. Progress is progress, right?

It's time to kick things up a notch though, I am serious about getting things under control and feel like I am not always playing catch up, just maintaining. Quite the goal with 3 little people under 5, but I WILL do this.

I broke out my Motivated Mom's notebook, and worked through my checklist today. It felt so satisfying to check things off my little list. 

And to keep the boys busy while I was getting stuff done, I made them their own checklists for their chores, complete with little pictures of each job, so they could tell which was which and check them off when they were done.

(Pretend there is a picture of their checklist here, Elise scribbled all over it, probably trying to check off her job of sobbing face first on the floor because I wasn't holding her)

I also found this site and I am even more motivated. Seriously, how can you not want to go organize something after looking at this?

One of the sections on the site encourages you to pick 52 goals and accomplish one per week. Since I'm getting a late start, there are only 21 weeks left of this year. So I picked 21 goals that I want to accomplish by January 1st 2013. Maybe posting it here will help keep me accountable, maybe I will be linking this post up to another one in a few months to shame myself into motivation again. Either way, here is my list:

1. Organize yarn and fabric
2. Declutter the top of the fridge (aka, the only place in the house children can't reach)
3. Declutter and organize bookshelf
4. Organize and purge toys
5. Organize office closet
6. Sort through my clothes and get rid of things I don't wear/don't fit
7. Organize the kids craft supplies
8. Organize pantry
9. Streamline laundry room set up
10. Organize/sort cleaning products on laundry room shelf
11. Organize hall closet
12. Sort/purge shoes
13. Find a place for/store boxes in the office (there are still about 3 boxes that just never got unpacked)
14. Set up a shelf for dvd player/wii under the mounted tv
15. Organize spice cupboard
16. Organize baking cupboard
17. Do something with the crib in Elise's room (you know, the one she has never slept in even once)
18. Decorate the living room, playroom and bedrooms
19. Sort through the boys art
20. Declutter kitchen/dining room
21. Declutter living room/bedrooms

So there it is, I don't think I'll go through them in exactly that order, but I do want to try and get one done a week in addition to normal daily chores. And then KEEP them that way.

I would love to hear any tips, schedule or plans you use to get/stay organized around the house!

The Fair!

I was in 4-H from the time I was 8 years old, all the way through high school, and I even worked for our county extension office for 2 years while I was in college helping with our 4-H program and the fair. It's a big part of who I am, It's exciting to take my kids there now counting down the years until they can be involved in 4-H (Nathan can be a Cloverbud next year!)

This year we actually had access to a car during the fair week for the first time in several years, so we took advantage and went every day. It was nice to just pop in for a few hours with the kids and then be able to make it back home for nap time.

I entered some knitting in the fair for the 3rd year this year, and ended up with 2 first places, 2 seconds, and best of show knitting! It couldn't have gone much better. It brings back 4-H memories to plan out what I want to make or which items I am going to enter and then trying to get up there as soon as I can (or send someone else to check) on Monday to see how I did.


Another exciting new thing happened at the fair this year, we picked out or first pet, a mini lop rabbit for Nathan. He is SO excited and is loving playing with Snappy (named by Nathan). Elise especially loves our bunny and is the only one brave enough to hold her so far, I think she would pick her up herself and carry her around if I would let her.


We ate lots of fair food, watched the dock dogs, saw lots of animals and exhibits, and we can't wait to do it all again next year!
 


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Lazy Sunday


I most definitely should be doing something better with my time. I don't have any legitimate excuses, other than I am really enjoying doing nothing.

I should wake Noah up from his nap so he actually sleeps tonight, but the quiet right now is oh so nice


I should tell Nathan he has been playing Lego Pirates of the Caribbean (how do I have a child old enough to know how to play video games?!), but he is having such a great time, and again, this quiet is heavenly.


I should clean my kitchen (no you don't get a picture of that), but I think I'll just sit here and do some knitting instead.

Every once in a while we all just need a day to unwind.  

Monday, July 23, 2012

Eat Ice Cream

I recently realized, that my freezer has more ice cream and popsicles than real food. When it's been 90 degrees more days than I would like to remember, it's sort of a necessity.

It also hasn't helped that my mom recently gave me an ice cream maker for my birthday, I find myself making ice cream when we still have some left in the freezer, or even making several different kinds in one day. It's a little bit addicting, and oh so tasty!

Peach frozen yogurt
The boys have liked helping me decide what kind to make next, and especially love tasting it out when it's finished.


Our favorite so far is cookies and cream. It tastes even better than the stuff in the store. Creamier, and if we eat it right away, the cookies still have a bit of a crunch to them. So much better than soggy cookie pieces!

Cookies and cream






Sunday, July 15, 2012

A window garden

I love Target. And I love Target's $1 section. I can always find some cute things for the kids that I don't need to worry about them breaking in 5 minutes, and that I can throw away in a few months to get rid of some of the clutter. It's cheap and easy fun.

So when I saw these $1 window garden kits, I could not pass them up

I actually got the strawberries for the kids Easter baskets...and then put off helping them with them for a few months, but once I found the cilantro and basil (things I knew I would put to good use!) we made ourselves a little window garden.

Strawberries in the little pots, cilantro on the left and basil on the right
Day 3 and the basil is already taking off!
Nathan playing outside while Anthony works in the garden
Elise and Nathan playing with the wagon
              
A few pictures of our garden
Tomatoes and corn
Tons of spaghetti squash, cucumbers and zucchini
Peppers, lettuce and onions
Our first cherry tomatoes, we've been getting tons daily since then!