Monday, August 23, 2010

Off the top of my head - silly reasons I love my boys

I just paused for about 3 minutes and watched the boys in their absolute silly-crazy-hectic-right-before-dinner madness.  And this is the only thing that came to my mind:  silly reasons I love these crazy boys...

  • Tells Seth “I’m too much for you!” when playing, wrestling, or just randomly yells it out (like when we were getting groceries)
  • Tells me at least once a day, “the way of the sinner is hard.”
  • Wants to have every moment of his day documented in pictures.
  • Is dying to have another baby so he can “sit in the back by myself”
  • Thinks learning is actually fun and tells me "you're so sweet as chocolate pie."  Who can resist that?
  • Thinks he MUST "duck, duck, goose!" himself on the head before finding the hidden ryan during Hide and Seek.
  • His chipmunk patch of black hair among dark blonde
  • Has no fear and ends all his stunts with “You see that????”
  • Like a squirrel (or maybe a chipmunk again) hides things everywhere...always a mystery around here.
  • Loves to “nuggle on your lap” at bedtime and says “carry me like a baby"
What silly little things made you smile today?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Yummy meal on the grill

Before summer is over, you MUST make this chicken on the grill.  Simply deeee-lish.
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 lime

Combine all ingredients.  (clean garlic, smash and incorporate into marinade.  Wash and dry cilantro, remove stems, finely chop and incorporate into marinade). Add a few cleaned chicken breasts and let marinade at least 30 minutes (or overnight).  Cook over open flame and baste with remaining marinade.

Great sides on the grill:

Pouch-grilled Potatoes and Garlic 
  • 1 1/2 pounds new potatoes, halved (or cut into wedges - cooks faster)
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1-2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • lime
Place potatoes and garlic on large double layer of foil, drizzle with oil, and season with salt and pepper, lime spray and cilantro.  Fold foil around potatoes and crimp edges to form a packet.  Grill directly over heat source, rotating packet often, until potatoes are tender, 20-25 minutes.  After grilling, toss with additional cilantro, salt and pepper and any remaining lime taste.

Grilled corn with sour cream and cotija cheese
  • 4 ears corn, husks left attached
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup crumbled cotija or feta cheese (1 ounce)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • course salt and ground pepper
Wrap each ear corn with a 2 inch band of foil to keep husks in place.  Soak corn in a large bowl or cold water for 10 minutes.  Remove from water and shake off excess.  Grill corn directly over heat, turning often, until husks are charred and kernels are tender...8-12 minutes.
Transfer corn to a platter.  Peel back husks and spread sour cream over cobs with a butter knife.  Sprinkle evenly with cheese and paprika.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

And for dessert?  Grilled (over indirect heat) S'MORES.  And BONUS - try using a peanut butter cup in place of a Hershey bar.  Wow.  Wow.  WOW.

Quick trip to the fair

My awesome hubs made a brief window of free time and agreed to go to the state fair.  He's not a fair-goer.  I think I am....but honestly, I think I might have gone once maybe 15-20 years ago.  And I'm pretty sure it was with my mom.  I just remember jams, quilts, and cross-stiching.  I didn't even know things like corn dogs and funnel cake even existed.  So I never really wanted to go back. And then all the hype started....the food, the shows, the free stuff, the fun things for kids.  So I wanted to go back.  But Troy did NOT.  And who could blame him?  He spends at least 6 hours out in the sun at camp each day, then go walk around in the crowded heat as soon as he's done?  Nah, I wouldn't want to either.  But we did it Saturday.  It was H.O.T.  I'm a baby in the heat.  But at least we did it.  Overall, Ryan wasn't impressed.  He just wanted to ride the train (never found one) and see the fish (???).  Seth was amused at the animals, but kinda freaked out at the crowds.  Still, we did it.  The highlights were:
The bus ride there and back:

The big bull:  (that thing was NASTY).  For the record, weighed 3022 pounds.
The Little Hands of the Farm was grrrreat:


And then it got too hot to take pictures. Well, we did the Fair.  Cross it off the list.  Whew.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Still alive and kicking

We're still here.  Life has gotten in the it often does.  And that is fine with us.  We're smiling through the end of the summer and a few very trying weeks are behind us.
 I'll get back on the blogging horse soon.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A fun organizational tool

Would anyone actually admit NOT loving checklists?  I used to think I was unique for loving lists...but really, that is like saying "I love breathing."  or "I love going to sleep at night."  or "I love Christmas."  Aren't lists just a natural and wonderful part of everyone's life?  Please, if you don't love lists, let me know:  I'll put you on my convert-to-a-list-lover list.  Anyway, I was looking for some fun tools and found

This site has free, downloadable, printable lists for LOTS of things.  There are almost too many list templates (unless you need blood pressure tracker?  or a camping checklist?)  Anyway, some are blank templates, but the Travel Packing Checklist is partially completed for you, as are others.  Oh, this site was like finding a long lost friend on Facebook.  I smiled...too wide....and had to explain to my husband why I was so amused.  I guess I found someone to add to my convert-to-a-list-lover list!

Have fun.  I hope this saves you some time; inspires you to get even more organized this week.  AND, this site inspired me to begin working on something that I've been told to do:  start a household binder.  So, although creating a new binder has me giggling like a child with her first allowance in Dollar Tree, I can kinda get annoyed with all the "stuff" the finance and home planner people say you HAVE to keep in a binder.  (I simply refuse to keep all my oil changes logged on a spreadsheet.)  Therefore, I'm going to create my own household binder and am going to periodically post the things I'm if you decide to take this voyage with can add along to yours, too!  Have a great week!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

One game: two personalities

How well do you know our boys?  Can you tell which boy/football coach is which?  I'll give you a hint:  One football team is lined up perfectly on the goal line.  One team looks like they are mingling at a party.

I love their similarities and I love their differences. Today we've played soccer, football guys, tag, wrestling, train puzzles, army guys, trains, cars, football stickers, and read farm books.  I ATTEMPTED to have them help me cook, finger paint, fold laundry - nope, not interested.  Can you tell I am One Girl Among Boys?

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I need to come clean.  Got a few things to get off my chest.  Maybe some of you do, too. I've been working hard all day and need to lighten my I'm just going to the verge of insanity...then I'll be back to normal tomorrow.  I promise.
  • I give fake phone numbers at checkout counters simply to win a game that the cashier doesn't even know she's playing. 
  • I got sworn at by Ryan tonight.  When I corrected his behavior he said in his meanest voice ever, "Don't bust my buffers!!!"  Which leads me to another confession: I can not wait to meet the creator of Thomas the Train in heaven...I'm going to ask him why he had to make the show so addictively dorky.  Sir Topham Hatt??? WHAT?  Seriously, dude.  Did you run that one by your wife?
  • I take as many chocolate mints as I can when I leave The Tavern. I don't even care if I look ridiculous doing it. Yes, I know you can buy them....but you can also fit about 10 in each handfull.  (Mom, it's a pizza place....don't worry.)
  • Sometimes I leave the shower knob pushed in (so the shower stays on rather than just coming out of the downspout) just so it will hit my husband in the face...I'm so amused by his reaction.
  • If I hang a picture on the wall and realize it is crooked, I put a ball of masking tape on the back to hold it in a straighter position.  Classy.  You should try it.
  • I could probably watch 50 straight hours of cheerleading.  I make fun of Troy for watching game film over and over and over (he's doing it right now) but if someone wanted to put in a DVD of cheerleading competitons...I would rewind and replay, too.  Same with some TV shows....but I won't tell you which ones.
  • I could eat an entire block of Cracker Barrel Vermont Sharp White Cheddar Cheese.  It is delish.  I try to eat just the 1 square inch serving size...but it is ridiculously good and I can't stop myself.
  • I hate Walmart, but have forced myself to go to it for the last month.  I've survived.  I haven't contracted any wierd diseases (yet) and I've actually saved a lot of money.  Yes, I tracked my cost savings - it was impressive.
  • Troy made his own birthday dinner tonight.  I didn't make it for him.  He wanted to play with his new smoker and it was a big flop.  Aren't I a nice wife? I did make him some cupcakes though.
  • My days are better if I have a Mt. Dew before 10 AM.  My kidneys are totally cool with that.
  • Speaking of soda, sometimes I don't pay the required 25 cents for soda at work.  I really need to pay that change cup back.  And I will....someday.
  • I get giddy at the thought of having my van detailed.  I don't know if anything would make me happier right now.  I am a true dork.
I could go on and on...but I need to retain a sense of dignity and a few I'll stop there.  AHHHHHH, I feel better.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Fun weekend

Action packed weekend at our house.  Lots of errands, cooking, some baseball games, I busted Ryan reading to our cat:

Then we had a grrrrreat time on Saturday evening.  We invited all the coaches and their families over for a cookout.  It was a ton of fun seeing old friends and making new ones.  It is going to be a fun, fun, fall!  All the kids played and played and played.  At one point, Seth escaped with his wagon and we found him a block away chasing it down the street...runaway wagon.  Fortunately (for us, not the neighbor) his wagon crashed into a neighbors parked car or Seth would probably still be running.  (No injuries during this incident - to Seth, the wagon, or the car, thankfully.) And check this out:
Dee, the wife of a coach MADE us this.  How cool!  It is actually really big, this picture doesn't do it justice.
After having such a blast on Saturday, we needed a restful and slow-going Sunday.  After church we ate at Jethros (can NOT wait until the Altoona one opens), then.....I TOOK A NAP.  Can you believe it?  I didn't think I would ever nap hard again.  But I actually slept for 2 hours.  Gasp.  It was wonderful.  I've taken a few 15-20 minute cat naps in the past few years, but it is RARE that I sleep when the boys sleep.  Wonderful.  Best Sunday in a long time :-)  Then, we made Ryan's dream come true.  All he has wanted to do for a long time is walk ("with my feet") on train tracks.

So we had a picnic:

Threw some rocks and sticks into the lake...ah, peaceful:


Taunted Fed some geese:

And went to some semi-deserted train tracks:

And even took a ride on a freight car.

Best part - it was all FREE!  We had a great time and I loved seeing how these simple pleasures make the boys so happy.  3 years ago I never would have predicted that I would be tromping down train tracks chasing 2 boys soaked in mud with goose-poo-covered shoes...and it was even harder to imagine that I would LOVE doing it.  I guess living as One Girl Among Boys is a pretty cool thing :-)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Keep the fun coming

We had to say goodbye to my sissy and her family today (SO glad we vacationed together) and we had a tough decision to make:

Do we go home (since now BOTH kids were throwing up?) or do we continue on our vacation (with the hotel reservations and baseball tickets we already purchased)??  Well, we started off slowly by throwing some rocks in the river:

Then, all week I was obsessed with the Stanley Hotel - the one from Stephen King's The Shining.  I found out last week that it was in Estes like any goofy tourist, I had to check it out:

Remember the creepy hallway? 
I've never read the book, but as soon as I'm done with this ridiculously long classical novel that I vowed to finish (I'm on page 569 of 1069...sigh) I'm going to read The Shining. 

Weellllllll...we decided to keep on vacationing.  Seth rebounded really quickly and Ryan came around eventually.   We headed to Denver and visted the Underwater Adventure Aquarium.  It was really really neat.  You can tell how Ryan didn't feel too great:

But Seth LOVES fish:

We bought a silly stuffed shark for both boys and Ryan perked up.  It could have been the REAL tiger we saw (yes, at an aquarium!?!?) or it could have been the 10th dose of Tylenol kicking in...but we were just happy to see him happy!

Seth LOVED this water shooter thing - push a button and water sprays out.  He was soaked!

Troy found a really cool hotel:  The Magnolia.  We were quite nervous upon check in because it is clearly about 3 stars more than we are used to...but it is BEAUTIFUL!  Our room is huge (3 full rooms plus a full kitchen) and we got a really good deal online!
Finally Ryan ate something - popcorn.  Yeah, I know - not the best choice...but at least he got some calories in his system.

Tomorrow we're "riding the train" (shhhh...don't tell Ryan that it is actually just the public transportation system), heading to a Rockies game...and maybe seeing King Tut on display here. Seriously, downtown Denver is really really awesome.  Too much to say about it...maybe later!

Friday, July 2, 2010

More vacation

Rock climbing:

Stopping for a quick drink:

Next stop...Pikes Peak
We MADE it to the top - both kids are sleeping and totally uninterested..

Getting ready for our horseback ride through the mountains.  Yes, we were brave enough to take a 3 and 1 year old on a 2 HOUR ride. 

Mom and Seth...and Georgia, our horse (or zebra, or dragon, or cow...depending on Seth)

During our ride, we got to see helicopters attempting to put out a forest fire.  Interesting.

A ROCK!!!! Wowzers.

We've seen lots of elk or mule deer (I still can't tell the difference.)

Exhausted little boys:

And now, Ryan has altitude sickness or something - fever, not eating, sleeping a lot, vomitting.  Awesome.  But he's a trooper and is trying to hang on!!! We're off to Denver for the weekend, then heading back home :(

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Flying high

Sorry I've neglected the blog....but we've been busy having fun.  Here's the proof.  Good-bye, my Iowa friends....I am never coming back home!