Thursday, January 3, 2013

Gender to-do list

How anybody waits until the birth to find out what the gender of their baby is, completely amazes me.  I have never been the most patient person, so it probably comes as no surprise that we will be finding out the gender of our little nugget, just like we did the other two.  There is just too much planning that needs to happen on my end, and finding out the gender early, makes it a whole lot easier on me.  (Probably not the hubby's wallet though! Shhh!)
We will find out if we will be planning for Pink or Blue in just over a week.  A long, slow going week at that!  But here are some things that I've got to get done once we know which way to go...

The Crib
I have been obsessed with this crib for so long!  It's a 3-1 convertible crib.  It goes from infant crib, to toddler bed, to a full size bed.  The tough choice is the color!  If we have a girl, then we will go with this ivory color shown above!  If we have a boy, we will go with a darker, more of a mahogany color!

The Nursery Decor
I love decorating, so the sooner I can get my hands on decorating or picking out decor for the baby's room, the happier I'm going to be.  I'm loving grays, teals, and pinks right now.  I'm also kind of partial to deep purples.  Tough choices ahead on this one!

The Name!
We are very traditional with our naming options.  We don't really like gender neutral names (not that there is anything wrong with that, it's just not our thing). For girls we like very girly names, and boys we like very boy names.  We have one boy name that we can agree on, and two/three girl names that we like.  Once we know what gender we are dealing with, will can narrow down (or in a boy's case, expand) our options. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The New Year Brings...

For most people, with every new year brings resolutions.  You have already seen my list of goals for the year, so I guess I have 50 resolutions!  But we have some major events coming up in our family during the year 2013, here are just a few that we are most excited about!

1. A NeW bAbY!!!!! It's no surprise that this would be at the top or my list right?
2. My BrOtHeR's WeDdIng!!!! Scheduled for July in Oregon! Road trip!
3. WyAtT sTaRtS kInDeRgArTeN!!!!  He's been so excited to go to school ever since Adam has gone!
4. BiG jAkE gRaDuAtEs CoLlEgE!!!! My bro-in-law Jake.  We call him Big Jake because I have two brother in laws named Jacob and then there is my brother Jacob.  It's a big confusing mess I know!

What are some big things you have to look forward to this year?  Hope it's a good one for you!


Friday, December 28, 2012

Goals of 2013

Usually for my annual goal posting, I post the goals from the previous year, marking the ones I achieved in bold, then posting my new goals for the new year.  Well, I may have accidentally saved my new goals over the old goals and therefore, cannot paste the old ones.  But I can list a few of the major goals that I know were on there that were achieved!

Student Teach
Graduate from College!
Get Pregnant
 Get back patio concrete poured
Read at least 5 books not required by school or book club (I think I finished 9)
Teach Wyatt to Read (He's getting better every day!)

Those are just a few of the goals that were knocked off of my goals list.  There were 50 total, and 23 of them were achieved!  I know some people look at these goal lists as silly, but I believe that looking back at it every once in a while reminds me of what I want to accomplish during the year. Since I have been doing it for about 5 years now, I really notice a difference between the years when I look at it at least once a month, and when I only look a couple times a year.  The reminders help!  So without further adieu...
1.     Have a healthy baby after 36 weeks
2.     Get a teaching job!
3.     Get certified.
4.     Go on a date every time Ben is home
5.     Read 2 classic books with the boys (such as Stuart Little, Trumpet of the Swan)
6.     Get air conditioning
7.     Finish the basement
8.     Take a vacation that’s not to visit family
9.     Make the denim family blanket
10. Get Book Club started again
11. Get new couches for basement
12. Make 2 extra house payments
13. Start paying back student loans
14. Volunteer at Adam’s school
15. Get large family photo printed on canvas
16. Pour concrete in back corner
17. Dress up for Halloween with the boys
18. Pay off Ben’s New Truck
19. Go to Florida for Christmas
20. Go camping at Redfish
21. Get a new dining set
22. Host Annual Christmas party
23. Can peaches, spaghetti sauce, peach jam, peach pie filling, applesauce, apple pie filing, pears, corn (freeze), salsa, zucchini (freeze)
24. Grow a garden in the back yard.
25. Get a new camera
26. Build up my stockpile
27. Make a new quilt for each of the boys, including Ben
28. Repair old blankets
29. Lose baby weight and then some!
30. Set up a budget and save $300/month
31. Get Wyatt a new bike
32. Bake birthday cakes for all of the boys
33. Get old couches cleaned
34. Paint master bedroom
35. Get curtains for Master bedroom
36. Teach Wyatt to read! (he’s so close!)
37. Build my home library
38. Build my classroom library
39. Get Adam in Cub Scouts
40. Visit Stephanie in DC and see the sites!
41. Put Adam in Baseball and Wyatt in Soccer
42. Get a new guest bed (make own headboard if possible!)
43. Read 5 books.
44. Don’t chop off hair after baby is born.
45. Put together family picture wall for basement
46. Plant trees in the back yard
47. Get boys a trampoline
48. Learn to sew a dress
49. Make 2 baby blankets for new baby
50. Keep our family safe, happy, and healthy!
Have a good year!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Mmm Mmm Monday Ham and Cheese Sliders

Along with Christmas usually comes a Christmas Ham.  But what to do with those leftovers that you are always left with?  Introducing the BEST way to use ham leftovers for maximum potential.  I found this recipe over a year ago from one of my favorite, low fat recipe blogs Gina's Skinny Recipes. She has some of the most amazing dishes I have ever eaten, and breaks everything down so you know how many calories, protein, carbs, ect are going into everything.  She even has what the Weight Watchers points would be on most recipes. 

So I am stealing this recipe from her, because it is one of my families favorites and we will be making them tomorrow from our leftover ham we make tonight! 

Ham and Cheese Sliders
24 good white dinner rolls
24 pieces good honey ham
24 small slices Swiss cheese
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup miracle whip

Poppy seed sauce (you probably could half this...I had plenty extra)
1 Tablespoon poppyseeds
1 1/2 Tablespoons yellow mustard (I use Dijon mustard and it's amazing!)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 Tablespoon minced onion
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise and miracle whip. Spread onto both sides of the center of each roll. Place a slice of ham and a slice of Swiss inside of each roll. Close rolls and place them into a large baking dish or heavy cookie sheet. Place very close together.

In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the poppy seed sauce ingredients. Pour evenly over all of the sandwiches. You do not have to use all of the sauce! Just use enough to cover the tops. Let sit 10 minutes or until butter sets slightly. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Uncover and cook for 2 additional minutes or until tops are slightly brown and crispy. Serve warm.

** sandwiches can be assembled a day ahead and kept in the fridge ready to bake.

These may take a little more time than a regular ham sandwich, but trust me, they are sooooo worth it!  

Monday, December 17, 2012

Mmmm Mmmm Monday Mistake

Today's recipe I have eaten before and am OBSESSED with it.  However, when I tried to make it today, I made a critical mistake!  Disclaimer: I have never made pulled pork before. This was my first attempt.  It was not a successful attempt.  I will now attempt to prevent you from making this awful, terrible, no good, very bad mistake like I have done.  Here goes nothing!

I received this recipe from a good friend of mine who lives and loves by her crock pot.  But really, what busy mom/wife doesn't love a good crock pot meal to take the edge off of preparing dinner for your family during a busy life? I love cooking meat in a crock pot.  It's always so tender and juicy!  So pulled pork is a no brainer for a crock pot recipe, right?  Apparently not so easy for the crock pot hem...I may or may not be included in that particular group. Anyway, moving on.

Fist I guess I should share the recipe, THEN I will share with you all my awful, terrible, no good, very bad mistake.

Chipotle Pulled Pork Sandwiches
1 Tbsp packed brown sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp ground mustard
3 tsp chili powder
1boneless pork shoulder (3lbs) trimmed of fat
1 can (8oz) tomato sauce
2 canned chipotle chiles, finely chopped
1 Tbsp adobo sauce from canned chipotle chiles
20 burger buns
5 medium avocados, peeled thinly sliced

1. Spray crock pot with cooking spray and turn on low. In a small bowl, mix first 5 ingredients, then rub on pork shoulder.  Place pork into crock pot, and sprinkle with any left over mixture.  Cook on low for 7-8 hours.
2. Remove pork from crock pot.  Let cool slightly, then shred pork with forks (or in my case, cut into fourths and place in kitchen aide mixer with paddle attachment on speed 4 for 1 minute) 
Drain liquid from crock pot, and place pork, tomato sauce, chilis, and adobo sauce over meat.  Mix well. If desired, add some of the reserved cooking liquid for desired moistness. 
3. Increase heat to High.  Cover and cook for 15-30 minutes.
4. Serve on buns with avocado slices.  Pork can be kept warm in crock pot for up to 2 hours on low or warm setting.  Enjoy!

Sounds easy enough right?
Remember those members of the crock pot impaired group? Ok, ok, I will finally admit that I am one of them.  All was going well with the meal, I cooked the meat, shredded it in my mixer (which is the easiest thing and takes no time at all, plus no mess!).  I tasted the pork at this point and it was amazing! Here is where I went wrong. 
You see where the recipe calls for 2 CANNED CHIPOTLE CHILES CHOPPED.  Well, when I was reading the recipe, I thought I read 2 CANS OF CHIPOTLE CHILES CHOPPED. So basically, instead of using 2 chiles, I used about 10.  OUCH!!!

This pork ended up being so hot, nobody could really eat it.  We tried toning it down with sugar and peanut butter (got that idea from my pulled pork expert mother), but unfortunately there was now fixing this mistake.  I am so bummed that I messed this up.  But note to instructions carefully!  Hope your attempt goes better than mine!  I will try again soon though.  I  refuse to fail!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Mmm Mmm Monday

I think I am going to start dedicating Mondays to recipe days!  And to kick it off, I'm going to start with our family tradition of Christmas punch! 

What you will need:
Sprite (I like to get a couple 20oz bottles because I think they keep the carbonation better than a 2L bottle does.)
Vanilla Ice Cream
Lime Sherbert
Pineapple Juice (We usually get a large can of pure pineapple juice.)

How to make it:
Scoop about 2 cups vanilla ice cream and lime sherbert into a large punch bowl. 
Pour about 20oz Sprite into bowl
Pour about 10oz pineapple juice in bowl.

Now mix together carefully.  You don't want large chunks of ice cream, so we use a metal potato masher to make the mixture a little more smooth.  
Here is where the taste testing comes in, some like the punch to have more of a pineapple kick to it, some like a little more carbonation, and some like more of a lime flavor.  You can add more of whatever you want to make it the consistency and taste that you like best.  We like to dish it out then top with an extra scoop of ice cream and sometimes a pineapple garnish if we happened to pick one up.  

I hope you try this with your family for Christmas this year, I know we will be making it!  Let me know how it turns out or if you make any adjustments!  Recipes are ever changing in my book and I would love to see what you do for Christmas punch ideas!  Merry Christmas and enjoy!!!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Bump...

As many of you probably already know, and if you don't this will come as a surprise...I'm PREGNANT!!! 
We just announced it to the world a few weeks ago and could not be more excited.  My due date is June 14, but I have no doubt that I will deliver this little bundle earlier judging by my previous history of pregnancies. 
I'm going to attempt to put up one of those pregnancy countdowns on here, so we will see how that goes!  Right now I am 13 weeks along and feeling pretty good.  The only problem is that I am hungry...all the time!  So every few weeks I will hopefully get around to posting pictures of "the bump" and answering a set of factual questions about my pregnancy.
So here is up to week 13 so far!

How many weeks: 13

Weight Gain: -.5 lbs (Weird right!)

Cravings: Anything and everything at this point.  I have been so hungry from about week 6.

Clothing: Most of my shirts I can still wear if they are longer, and a couple pants. I have bought 2 maternity pants and a couple shirts though.  There's only so far I can roll my pants over!!

Feeling: Tired, but very excited!

I will get some pictures up here later I promise! I just need to get them off of my phone!  Oh BTW I won't find out the gender probably until the end of January :(