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 :(

End of an era


  1. A long and distinct period of history with a particular feature or characteristic.
  2. A system of chronology dating from a particular noteworthy event.

So what is this era I speak of?  What is my noteworthy event that has ended?  I am officially a college graduate!!! Yes, it's true!  After starting my college career at Utah State University in August 2004, getting married, having two children, taking 2 years off, moving multiple times, and transferring to a different college, I have graduated in December 2012 from Idaho State University with my BS in Elementary Education and an Emphasis in English.  So this truly is the end of an era.  It's doesn't feel completely real to me just yet.  My diploma isn't here yet, my teacher certification isn't here yet, but it's all in the works.  If ISU had a winter graduation ceremony I would post some pictures, but they don't.  So I guess you will just have to trust me on this one :)  Now the real work begins...time to find a job! 

Long time coming...

Okay, I admit it.  It has been a really, REALLY long time since I have updated my blog!  I've been wanting to get back to it for months, but finally reading my good friend Meagan's blog this morning prompted me to get back into the swing of things.  The last 8 months (I know I shutter to think it has really been that long too!) have been some of the most eventful, crazy, and exciting times in my life and I can't wait to share everything with you!  But for my first post back, I just wanted to say hello!

Monday, April 30, 2012


Today is a tough day.  I believe that every day holds its own challenges, but today is a tough day.  Having children is the greatest gift that has ever been given to me and I try to cherish them on a daily basis, and sometimes it is so hard and not take any moment with them for granted.  

Today a good friend of mine had to say goodbye to her little girl who lost her battle with cancer.  4 years old.  It's heartbreaking.  Yet it amazes me the courage that this little girl had and the strength that her momma showed.  

I thank God every day for my healthy children and the time I get to spend with them here on Earth.  I'm going to go hold my babies now, I hope you all do the same. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

The best things

I'm feeling like a bit of a random streak has hit me today, so I thought I would make a list of the best parts of things in my goes! (These are by no means complete, just some thoughts)

Being a mom:
Snuggles and hugs whenever I feel like I need them
Being called mom, momma, mommy
Picking out little features in my kids that I know they get from me or their dad
Teaching them is an everyday thing, and we all know I love to teach!

Being married:
No drama in the dating pool!
Having my best friend by my side
Somebody I can count on
Combining families

My relationship with my Hubby:
We have been married 7 years, together for 11.5
He was my first kiss ever!
We can be so silly, but serious too.
He is my best friend. 

Being a student:
Umm...j/k there's bound to be one right?
Always knowing that I have a schedule
I've made so many friends through school

I know that there are other parts to my life that I didn't include, I was just thinking about these things today and thought I would jot them down. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Tag..I'm it. Are you next?

So a couple weeks ago I was tagged in a post by one of my favorite bloggers, Meaganover at Two Little Love Birds.  Ya, me, myself, I can't believe it either!  It has taken me a few weeks to get to it because I'm cramming for some major exams right now.  

If any of you have ever taken the Praxis II exams for becoming a teacher, you know what I'm talking about. Let's just say my house is not lookin' too pretty right now since my nose is stuck in books most of the day.  Ya, let's just leave it at that.

So the name of the tagging game is...

Well I guess I don't know if there is a name, but I'm it.  Here are the rules:

The Rules...
1. You must post the rules.
2. Post 12 fun facts about yourself on the blog post.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create 12 new questions for the people you tagged.
4. Tag 12 people and link them on your post.
5. Let them know you've tagged them!

12 fun filled facts about ME:

1. I find it EXTREMELY  awkward when people cry in front of me.  No matter what it is about and why they are crying (with or without a legit reason), I feel super uncomfortable.  I never know what to say and just want to get out of there ASAP most of the time. EEK!

2. I met my husband when I was barely 14!  He was my first kiss ever!  I love that I am married to the man that was part of such a huge milestone in my life.  That was the first of many milestones we made together!  

3. I think my hubby is the only person that knows this next one about me, so brace yourself!  If I had the confidence, the body, and the opportunity (all at once), I would totally pose for Playboy!  haha.  Well I say that, but if all those things ever came along at the same time, who knows if I would actually do it.  Probably not now that I have kids :)  That would be awkward when my boys are teenagers...oops!

4. I am super competitive...and a sore loser.  I mean really sore.  But I have really tried the past couple years to tone it down, and put on a good face for if I lose at something.  But all the while inside I am feeling like...

5. After having kids, my equilibrium is WAY off.  I get motion sickness very easily now.  Car sick if I am sitting in the backseat (sometimes in the front too).  And really sick when taking off and landing in an airplane.  You ever wonder if people actually use the little sick baggies at each seat?  Ya, this girl does.  Gross I know!

6. I want to learn fluent Italian, French, Spanish, and Dutch.  I have taken classes in High School for French and Italian and loved it, but I can hardly remember anything.  Spanish is such a common language around the word, it would be nice to know what people are saying :).  And my family is Dutch, my paternal grandparents are first generation immigrants and speak fluent Dutch, as well as my Dad, I think he can understand it more than he can speak it now.  Once I learn them all, I want to travel to each place to "practice" my skills.  Off on a jet plane, sick baggie and all! 
 7. I get pretty bad test anxiety.  So much so that I can hyperventilate, get sick, and overall just freak out.  So over the years I have become accustomed to a little test prep pump up song...

I listen to this song a few times before taking an exam and I am ready to go!  Enjoy the video!

8. If I won the lottery and could do anything I wanted to do, I would go to culinary school.  I love to cook and I find it really relaxing.  I wanted to be a chef growing up, but having kids so young and being settled, it's just not a possibility since there are no good culinary schools close to home.  Maybe one day :)

9. I am such a ball baby when it comes to movies!  I cry over sad and happy things all the time.  My best friend still to this day makes fun of me for crying in Mighty Joe Young when it came out years and years ago.  You know that part when Joe, the giant gorilla falls off the Ferris Wheel at the end and they think he's dead...ya imagine me sobbing so much that I had to leave the room!  I'm only slightly embarrassed to admit that now. 
 10. I have a hard time thinking of all babies as cute.  There are some pretty ugly babies out there!  What do you do when somebody you know has an ugly baby?  You know they are looking for you to say how cute, beautiful, handsome, or adorable they are right!  I can't do it.  If they have an ugly baby, of course I won't tell them that, that's just mean.  I will just say something about a feature on them.  Like commenting on their hair, little toes, how small they are... things like that.  But of course my babies were the most beautiful ever :)

11. I have always wanted to chop my hair off so short that it's like a boy cut...but I'm a chicken.  I've heard it is so hard to grow out once you cut it so short because it just looks awkward at certain stages, so you cut it again to stay short.  This is what I would do if I every got up the nerve to do it...

  12. My ideal night alone would be snuggling up by a fire with a good book and a glass of wine.  Something is so relaxing about those three things.  Love it!

Meagan's questions for me:

1. What is your guilty pleasure food?
Sour Punch Straws or Bites.  If they are even in my vicinity, I will find them. I will eat them.

2. If you could choose a song to represent who you are, what would it be?
Haha, See number 7 above!  

3. What is your favorite book, movie, or TV show? You choose.
My favorite book is probably The Lovely Bones, Movie: Pride and Prejudice, TV show: Grey's Anatomy.

4. What do you want to be when you grow up? :)
Alive :)  A teacher, great mother and wife, friend. 

5. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
I think Australia would be a fun place to visit.  I could speak English, and it's not someplace that a lot of people immediately think of to visit. 

6. What is your favorite hobby?
I love to sew and do crafts, but finding time to do it is another story.

7. Dress up or jeans?
I love to get dressed up, but there is nothing like a good pair of jeans and some flip flops to feel truly relaxed. 

8. What would you do if you won the lottery? Besides jump up and down screaming, of course.
See #8 above.  We would pay off our house, our parents homes, and probably open a restaurant of my own.  

9. Favorite Quote?
I don't have a favorite quote, I think if you are going to quote someone for inspiration, let it be yourself! 

10. Most embarrassing moment?
Going down a large water slide with a friend in high school, only to have her untie my bathing suit top as we were going down.  I had no idea until after coming out the slide at the bottom, arms raised and screaming, only to find a shocked lifeguard at the bottom!  hehe  

11. Biggest Pet Peeve? 
I hate being late. I hate when other people are late.  Even one minute and I start to get frustrated.  And I feel so embarrassed if I am ever late.  

12. What are 3 things you love about yourself?
I love my laugh. I love my hair.  I love my family. 

I tagged...
Chylie @ The Hagmans
Kellie @ Oh Henrys
Courtney @ jake & court

My questions for you...

1. If you could do anything with the guarantee of never getting caught, what would you do?
2. Do you have any piercings and/or tattoos? Where?
3. When was your first kiss?  How old and with whom?
4. If you were to write a book, what would it be about?
5. What do you think are the worst boy and girl names ever?
6. If you could make a list of 5 celebrities you could sleep with, who would be on it?
7. What is your biggest fear?
8. Morning person or night owl?
9. What is your favorite Disney movie and why?
10.  If there was no danger to you, what is the one extreme sport you would try without thinking twice about it? (ie: skydiving)
11. If you could look like any celebrity, who would it be?
12. What is your favorite type of flower, bush, or tree?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Like a kid again...

While growing up, there are just certain things that you have to have done to have a successful childhood.  Such as, jumping from pillow to pillow to couch to avoid falling in the lava, hula hoop, roller skate, jump rope, ride a get the idea.

Well this last Saturday was date night with our best friends ever Josh and Lindsie!  And when I say best friends I mean we have all known each other for so long (I met Josh when I was 12! And he introduced me to my hubby at 14!) that we are 100% comfortable around each other.  Sometimes a little too comfortable but I will leave that for an entirely different post!

So for our date night we got all dressed up (sort of) and hit the town!
Here is me and my amazing (and hot) husband on our way to dinner.  

We met up with our friends at a cute little Italian place that none of us had ever tried before (and sadly probably won't again).  Sounds like a pretty normal double date so far right?

Next we decided that we wanted to do something that none of us had done in years, YEARS!!! Guess what?

Starlight Skating!  Or rollerblading in my case! (Even as a little kid I could never stay up on roller skates...strange?)

I don't think I had been to a skating rink since I was in middle school, at least.  Ben and I did go ice skating for our 4th anniversary, but for some reason that seems more romantic than childish. So childish it was tonight!  
Here is the 4 of us (sorry for the blurry pic, we had a 10 year old giggling girl take the picture, enough said.)  But we were so excited to get on the floor!

Rockin' the blades.  We even did "time trials" for one lap around the rink, not surprisingly to me, I totally dominated and won by about 3 seconds.

Aren't they cute!  They obviously felt more comfortable on the skates than Ben and I did!

We had so much fun skating and I felt just like a kid again...and believe me, there were TONS of kids there.  The 10 year old giggling girl that took the group photo for us was so smitten with Ben, she kept telling him "You are just so cool, even the teenagers think you are cool!"  It was really sweet, and of course it helped boost Ben's ego a little.  But I think he is pretty cool too.  

I'm thinking that for one of our birthday's coming up we should rent out the skating rink and invite all our family and friends!  It would be a great party!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Soon to be...

Oh the joys of buying a house with an unfinished basement!  Of course there are pro's and con's to everything so here are some from my basement...

Pros                                                  Cons
I can make it my own                        Starting from scratch is a little daunting
I get to choose the layout                  It's expensive
Expanding is exciting                       It takes FOREVER!!!

I could probably list a few more cons to having an unfinished basement, but this is intended to be a happy post!  Why you ask?  Because we are slowly but surely getting it finished.  The framing is finished, electrical will be done in the next 2 weeks.  The tub/shower is set in and plumbing is finished.  But the most exciting part of it all is going in soon.  Now I really had to fight for this, I am so in love with it, and my only winning argument was that it would be great for resale value down the line.  The big reveal...

Isn't it beautiful?  I know!  The only differences will be instead of the wood paneling it will just be the white boarding (wood won't really match my decor plans).  The back of it will be closed off, and inside the bench will be pull out storage!  I am so excited to add this to my basement it makes me want to scream.  Like I said I really had to fight for it, so I am sure I will be putting it to good use with all of my reading!  I give you all permission to be jealous now.  Go on, it's okay :)

Friday, February 3, 2012


Overwhelmed just doesn't quite cut it these days. I think that everybody tries really hard to do their best most of the time, they really do. And with trying comes both success and failure. Let me just tell you right now that I do not do well with failure (I'm sort of a sore loser, just a little). Some of my friends even say that I am borderline OCD with some of aspects of my life. And part of being my OCD, overachieving self means that I put a lot on my plate.
School (20 Credits)
Teaching 5 days a week
Book Club
Single Mommy most of the time since Ben works away
Homework (both mine and Adam's)
Baking (more of a stress reliever)

All this stuff adds up to a very And another part of my OCD, overachieving self, tends to bottle frustrations up inside. Today was a tough day, not buy any measure terrible, but just an off day. And it got me thinking about why I think I have to be so "on it" all of the time. Why am I beating a dead horse so to speak over why I am having my "off day" today? Something to think about, something to work on. I know I already posted my goals for 2012, but I am going to add one tonight.

Don't criticize yourself so much! You don't have to do everything perfectly!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Rules of Possession

I think my boys are pretty good at sharing with other children, but all those please and thank you's seem to fly out the window when it comes to sharing with each other. Ya, their brothers. It's pretty obvious. So I came across some rules of possession when it comes to kids (although I can't remember where I found it!) But I think this fits my boys so well! And it doesn't just apply to toddlers!