Sunday, December 10, 2006

Look at that tree!!!!!

I'm on a roll so we'll keep on a posting!

I just wanted everyone to be able to appreciates the sheer GINORMOUSNESS of our Christmas tree.

not as cool in the light but you can get a better feel for the size...BIG! I had to lopp off some of the top so the angel wouldn't break her neck.

Hale damage

He looks so innocent doesn't he? A little decieving I must say. I am not kidding when I say he walks around with a 5lb. dumbell in his mouth as a chew toy. We take it away from him and no matter what we do with it he ALWAYS finds it!

Anyway...14 wks old 27lbs. (18lbs at 11wks) Mike and I thought we were being so smart. We put up a zip line in the back yard running from the back door frame to the clothes line so that Hale can play a little while he is outside (without us freezing) We can't train him on the underground fence until he is at least 6 mos. in the meantime the zip line was up. He liked it for about 2 wks, then yesterday Alayna comes upstairs and says"uhh, you guys might want to come outside and see what Hale did." So I went and this is what I found...

He pulled the door frame off. So on to plan B.......

Luckily that cute thing really works for him!

and for dessert

I couldn't leave you without dessert. This recipe is wonderful! and very easy...(you can do it Becky!--I have faith!!!) For those of you wondering YES I did take a picture of my bread pudding. I'm a dork like that.

3 cups bread cubes
4 cups scalded milk
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Butter an 8x8 inch glass baking dish. Soak bread in hot milk for five minutes. Stir in 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon butter, salt, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Pour into the baking dish.
Line a roasting pan with a damp kitchen towel. Place baking dish on towel inside roasting pan, and place roasting pan on oven rack. Fill roasting pan with boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the baking dish. Bake for 60 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

While pudding cools, combine 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup butter, cream, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a large saucepan. While stirring, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and stir 3 minutes more. Spoon over warm bread pudding.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Taco Soup

My cousin Becky had a blog that is WAY better than my and being the overachiever she is she keeps coming up with these fun little blog-game type things. I am supposed to post a good soup recipe and her blog links here so her people can see it....I'm telling you she is in the advanced blogging club, ALPHA, National Honor Society or whatever your high school called the smart people...she is in that club! Anyway, Here is my Souper (ha-get it?) good recipe!

(Hint: I made it by the recipe to the letter the first time, now I change it up a little every time..sometimes spicy, sometimes not)


1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 (16 ounce) can chili beans, with liquid
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans with liquid
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, with liquid
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 cups water
2 (14.5 ounce) cans peeled and diced tomatoes
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chile peppers
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
In a medium skillet, cook the ground beef until browned over medium heat. Drain, and set aside.
Place the ground beef, onion, chili beans, kidney beans, corn, tomato sauce, water, diced tomatoes, green chile peppers and taco seasoning mix in a slow cooker. Mix to blend, and cook on Low setting for 8 hours.

and for those of you on weight watchers like me:
Servings Per Recipe: 8
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 363
Total Fat: 16.3g
Cholesterol: 48mg
Sodium: 1395mg
Total Carbs: 38.2g
Dietary Fiber: 8.7g
Protein: 18.1g

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

pumpkin farm

so, yes I know we are now well into the Christmas season, but I am a "slacker-blogger" so bettr late than never! The girls and I went out to Heritage Farms for their "Kirby Kangaroo" pumpkin party thing. Let me say it was SO cold! The girls loved it but there was cocoa to be had once we got home!

Friday, October 27, 2006


I found these two little monkey's in our neighbors lilac tree. Bob, the neighbor just recently told them that they are more than welcome to climb the tree whenever they want to, as long as it is ok with Mike and I. Well, little did Bob know...he was my excuse to keep both of their feet firmly on the ground. I just told them that it wasn't our tree and Bob probably didn't want people climbing in his tree.

There goes that excuse.

Here is the funny thig: I very clearly remember climbing up into some VERY high trees with Josh when we were little. I don't know how my mom didn't have a heart attack. I'm no good at all at that whole "let life happen,,,they'll learn" thing.
I shall work on that!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Heeeere's Hale!

We have added another to our brood...

His name is Hale. He is a 6wk old Rottweiler. (and the cutest thing I have seen in a long time)

He seems to be adjusting well, but we have had him for all of 6 hours. I expect alot of whining tonight.

And this is what I found on Saturday when I walked into the living room...

They were watching cartons, and that dog (zoeie) is just silly enough that she stayed there for a good hour. It was pretty funny. Westin was quite proud.

*and to all of those who were praying for/worrying about Mike, his surgery went well, they had some problems with his bloodpressure in the recovery room, it got up to 156/122. which is very high for him. Dr. Davis also found some adhesions around the gallbladder that he also removed, which he wasn't expecting. but no big deal, maybe a little more pain. Other than that it went well. The liver looked Ok and Dr. Davis did not feel the need to perform a biopsy.

They will recheck his liver enzymes in about 6 weeks, and hopefully the gallbladder took care of the problem. We'll see. If not, I'm not sure what the next step would be. I'll keep you posted! Thank you for thinking of us.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

For those who don't know him...

I don't know how many of you guys who read this have ever met Mike... so if you haven't here he is...

Pretty foxy guy huh???? ;-) Lucky Me.

We have had a long few days around here. Westin tested positive for Strep on Saturday and as of yesterday(Tuesday) she was still running a fever of 103.3. I took her back to the Dr. who gave a shot of antibiotics (in her thigh!!!--Ouch!) and ordered lab work. Westin, however did not agree with any of these decisions. Her exact words were "Mommy, that Dr. just wants to hurt me!" Dr. Pamulapati told her she was breaking her heart. It was all very dramatic and sad.Poor little thing. The shot worked. Her fever broke and she went to school today. Just in time. She has a birthday party tomorrow at Chuck E. Cheese for a friend from school.

Alayna's big news is that her class gets to participate in an "Museum school" thing where they go to the Grout museum all next week and have school like they did in the old days. She is so excited. Instead of a spelling test they will have a spelling bee, etc. They even get to dress the part. Mike, being the AWESOME dad that he is, is going to help on Tuesday. I'm sad for me yet proud of him to say that He has been on more field trips than me.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Baking with Wes.

So... anyone who knows me knows I don't like messes. Those people will appreciate this posting.

I know that baking with children is beneficial to them and a good learning experience and blah, blah, can call me a bad parent but I will say out loud what all of us mom's think....."Is the mess really worth it?"

Judging by these pictures the mess was worth it on this day.

But don't get any ideas about the future, it's a day to day thing.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Here it is...

YEAH! The new school is open!!!

Well, here it is Westin's first day of kindergarten. Last night they opened the school up so that everyone could go and tour and find their rooms. This helped the girls and especially me sleep better.

Westin had a blast and happily said she would go back tomorrow!

Needless to say Alayna was very excited to finally have Westin at her school! After seeing the school last night she kept telling Wes that school was going to be so fun. Westin finally said "I know, I know, You've said that like 20 times!" It was kind of funny. Both girls wanted us to just drop them off so that Alayna could walk Westin to her class. It was sweet, but a no-go. I wasn't letting go any sooner than I had to and somehow those 2 minutes seemed rather pivotal.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Goodbye Grandma Char.

Today was a very sad day for all of us. Mike's mother passed away this morning at 2:38am. The cancer was just too much. She fought a brave battle and lived to the fullest to the very end. We are very sad for ourselves but very happy for her, as she is no longer in pain.

Alayna & Westin are taking things in stride. Westin asks questions with the brutal honesty of a 5 yr. old and Alayna is just kind of taking it all in. It's hard for them, but they also know it is good for her. Westin is sure that Grandma Char is up in heaven playing with peanut (deceased hamster) and then taking Gunerr(Josh's Rottweiler in heaven) for a walk.

Mike is doing as well as a son can when losing his mother. He is being wonderful with the girls and making sure they know that whatever they need, no matter what, he is here for them. The next few days are going to be very hard on us all, but we will get through. Thank you to everyone for their thoughts and prayers. They are much appreciated.

For those who would like to know...

  • VISITATION---Monday August 21 from 4-8pm at The Dahl-VanHove-Schoof Funeral Home in Cedar Falls.
  • SERVICE---Tuesday August 22 10:30am at Nazareth Lutheran Church in Cedar Falls.

"When I die, she said, I'm coming back as a tree with deep roots & I'll wave
my leaves at the children every morning on their way to school & whisper
tree songs at night in their dreams.

Trees with deep roots know about the
things that children need". ~Brian Andeas "Deep Roots"

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

4 Things you may not know about me...

My cousin tagged me, so here we go.......

4 Jobs I have had in my Life.....
Chuck E. Cheese (Yes I was really Chuck)
Nurse Aide
Medical receptionist
Pharmacy Technician

4 Movies I would watch over and over......
Bad Boys 2 (I love Will Smith)
Hope Floats
When A Man Loves A Woman
Nothing to Lose

4 Places I have lived.....
Cedar Falls
Mustang, Oklahoma

4 TV Shows I love to watch........
Mad about You (I love it!!!)
Nip/Tuck (I know I'm not proud of it)
Miami Ink

4 Places I have been on Vacation......
California (A LONG time ago)
Don't really travel much. I have great vacation ideas though

4 Websites I visit Daily.....
My yahoo page

4 of my favorite foods.........
Meatloaf (I really do like it!)
BBQ Ribs

4 places I would like to be right now.......
A bed & breakfast in Vermont
A dude ranch with my kids (I just think it would be fun)
anyplace with my family

OK, I tag Holle and Josh....go!

Monday, July 10, 2006

With neighbors like these...

So, we have a little war going on with our neoghbors, Joe and Emily. Our weapon? A rather sizeable orange cone. It all started while they were on vacation. Somehow this orange cone appeared in front of their van. It stayed there for a few days after they returned, We joked about it and one night put it on the roof of their van. Joe shimmied up and got it off. We all laughed about it and apparently war was waged. Joe laid low for awhile, Mike and I joked that he must be plotting something good. We thought maybe we would wake up some morning with the cone lying in bed between us. We were close.... I got home from the pool one day last week and found this......

This picture doesn't do justice to just how steep the pitch of our roof is. I believe Joe may have risked life and limb for retaliation definitely raised the bar. Now the question is what do we do in return?

If you have any suggestions e-mail them to me. Joe and Emily read this, and I don't want them to see what's coming.

4th of July...

Thought I would share some 4thof July pics:

Friday, July 7, 2006

We love the pool!

The girls were so excited!!!! They "taught" themselves to swim. They are doing great they go all the way under to get stuff off the bottom of the pool. We bought them some goggles, which apparently are like spinach to popeye. They are so happy. "It makes the pool so much funner!"

Alayna is concerned, she wonders why, it seems "the 4 year old get all the talent? They can push off and kick and everything just like she can, but they're so much smaller!" It was pretty high drama.

Synchronized swimmers in the family????

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I suck at blogging.


Am I not the worst blogger in the history of bloggers?

Here's what's new...

Raina had to go back to the pound. She became too aggressive and possessive for me to take on with two kids, and not knowing her back ground. We will look for a baby, baby rottweiler puppy that we can raise our way from the get go. They are easier to train when 20 lbs. Than 65lbs.

Peanut our hamster died. It was horribly traumatic for Westin and myself. Alayna took it like a champ. Wes cried and cried. I told her that he was in animal heaven having a good ,ol time, and in all her 4 yr. old seriousness she said " I don't know if he'll make it there mom, he is in a bag in the garbage can." Apparently brutal honesty is Mike's parenting method of choice.

On Monday I start working one 12 hr. day a week and every other saturday. It will be so nice to be home with the girls more. In the fall then I will be working 9-3 M-F except Wed. when I will be off at 2. The girls get out early on Wed. I will no longer work weekend either. Nice huh?

This is Westin's new use for twister.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Meet Raina.

So, Mike and my mom decided they were going to surprise me with a black pug puppy to name Raisin. Anyone who knows me knows that I've ALWAYS wanted a black pug. Well, turns out that was just in theory. Once it became a reality, I did my research. Pugs sound like they are high maintence. I'm not sure I'm responsible enough for all that work. Kids I can do. A pug? Not so sure. The whole eye care thing kinda freaked me out and the snorting and they can't be outside in the heat. I don't know how many of you have seen my brothers new dog? I'm here to tell you anything less tan 50lbs. doesn't have a prayer. So, I decided we needed to go to the pound to see what was there before we went and paid good money for a specially made dog. So, my hopes aren't up real high, I'm kinda just out there for the sake of my guilty soul. So we're walking through nothing really catching our eye. UNTIL...the last kennel on the left.There she is... Meet Raina....Our new to us 10 month old rottweiler. She is a great dog! We brought her home tonight, all she wanted to do is sleep with the girls. (we're mean, we won't let her) We walked to the Western Home to visit my grandparents and she did great. Her and Zoeie get along well. We actually took Zoeie out to the pound to check that out before we got her.They both are so easy going.

Moral of the story...We love Rottweilers in theory and reality!

Monday, May 22, 2006

All the girls!

My best friend has two girls, Rory(in orange), who will be
3 in August and Soren(in stripes) who just turned 1.

The conversations these four children have are hilarious! Westin is a little mom to Soren. It is a riot. In this picture Westin was a little upset that she had to go to bed when "the girls" were still at our house.

And no, that hand is not growing out of nowhere, Holle is holding Soren, but knew this picture was going on the blog and she's a chicken, so she would rather appear grossly deformed than voluntarily have her picture taken.

So, we're on our 4 hour drive to our cousins on Friday, my mom forgets her purse at the last restaurant we ate at. Westin has a serious problem with this. She is reprimanding "Grandma Connie" in the sternest voice a 4 yr. old can muster. I hear things about how it is her job to remind grandma to take things and various overly dramatic statements, then with a completely straight face, and no humorous inflection in her voice at all Westin says to "grandma Connie..."Now, are you picking up what I'm laying down?" Someone tell me, what do you say to that????
(tears of laughter are all she got from me)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Happy Alayna

I just love this picture of Alayna. She loves being out at my best friends parents' farm.

She looks so content and check out those fingernails, a country girl through & through...

Harley mama

This is Westin's version of dressing up. Something about it just screams Biker Babe.

She is just proud as can be though!

Friday, May 12, 2006


I promised a picture of the results of the braids. Here it is. They think it's the coolest thing in the world. Funny.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I love my sister!

I love my Sister!

Tonight we did the age-old, take a bath, throw on your pajamas lightning fast, so mom can braid your still soaking wet hair so it can be "crimped" for school tomorrow! (anyone who is a girl or has girls is familiar with this routine) I will take a picture of the finished product tomorrow.

A little snippet of the information I got from Westin yesterday... "I'm sure that I will have boys around me all the time in a little while because I'll be so cute." I asked her if she meant when she was older? she said "yeah, when I'm 5." Dear Lord Almighty. Self-esteem is NOT AN ISSUE with her!! I'm curious to hear her version of what people think of her hair. She is one funny kid.

Alayna found her talent today! She told me as soon as she got in the car, that she apparently (her word) is an excellent drawer of dolphins. and "the funny thing is I didn't even know I knew how to draw dolphins" When Westin got in the car they had a very in-depth discussion about talents and Alayna said some people never find their talents and she "just felt so lucky to have found hers so early." The stuff you hear in kids' conversations if you pay attention is Great!

Have a good day everyone. Braid results tomorrow....

Sunday, May 7, 2006

Their shining moment......

These are some pictures from a wedding we all were in on New Years Eve. A good frieand of ours got married, and the wedding was gorgeous! Westin was a flower girl (one of 3) and Alayna was the bell-ringer. She walked in right in front of Sukey (the bride) and rang a crystal bell. She did so good. Her cheeks didn't even turn red. Westin danced it up at the reception, Alayna did too, but she is a little lower key than Wes. Both had a blast.

Saturday, May 6, 2006

I'm trying my hand at this blogging thing....we'll see.

Today we were a bunch of busy bunnies. The girls were in a fashion show this morning which the did marvelously!!! Look out Cindy Crawford! Then we went to Mom's /Grandma Connie/s and spent the day playing with the dogs (the girls) and baking a pie (me). We then grilled out at Josh's. A good time was had by all. (Except Mike, he had to work all day. Yuck!)

Signing off on another good day.....sara