Archive | September, 2012

It’s a Baby Boy!

29 Sep

My older sister and brother in law had their baby early morning on September 28th and I love him so much!

Daryl texted me at 2:45 in the morning that they were in the hospital and everything was coming along fine.  I tried to roll over and get another hour or two of sleep but just kept thinking about my poor sister going through labor.  I rolled over at 3am and told Jared about Courtney.  We talked over our plans for the Aleah and Sophi and how Jared was going to make it work with our busy schedule and me out of town.

I threw some stuff in a laundry basket and headed out of town a little before 4am.  I started my long drive to Clinton, Wisconsin which would take about 8 hours.  On my drive down I kept praying for my sister and the baby.  I watched the moon slink down into the horizon while it turned a redish orange.  I saw the sky start to glow with the morning sun as I got a text that they had a boy!

She went into labor at midnight and then the hospital at 1:30am.  Since this was her first baby we were all planning on labor taking all day long and I was thinking I would be present for some of it.  When I got the text I was so surprised and so so happy for them.

I got to be the first non-parent to hold him and it was the best moment.  Being an aunt is so great.  I got to walk in after all the hard work was done and hold this precious new, wonderfully smelling and handsome baby boy.  I get to sleep at night and hold this little miracle throughout the day.  Being an aunt is a pretty dang sweet job.

Congratulations Court and Daryl on your new baby boy, he is perfect.  

Giveaway Winner!

25 Sep

We had a giveaway option from September 10th to September 24th.  The winner of the giveaway wins this amazing book:

AND if you don’t win this book you should go HERE and buy it because it is a great book with tons of great projects and fun ideas.

Without further ado, the winner is……….

Emily Koch

Congratulations.  You are going to love this book.  Please e-mail me at so I can get this book to you.

If you live around me I would love to let you look through this book, it is a great one.

Nap Mat

22 Sep

The preschoolers take a nap each day after lunch.  The requirements for the mat for them to sleep on was that it had to be able to fit into a 2 gallon ziplock bag.  Yeah, I definitely did not follow that rule, but goll darn Aleah is going to have a comfy place to take her naps at school.

Aleah’s mat sitting in school

I searched online for what a nap mat should look like and this is what I came across:

this cost $20 and I’ll give you another $20 if you think a kid could get a good rest on this sucker

I found this at target’s website and it was more of what I was thinking but it was $45!  That is crazy!

So I decided to make one for Aleah myself.  I made it in one afternoon nap time and then after bed time for a few hours.

My grandma made me a beautiful blanket a few years ago. It is VERY thick so not that great for laying on laps but perfect for the padding of a nap mat! (don’t worry she won’t mind its new purpose)

I tied together the blanket with some yarn so it wouldn’t bunch up weird

The blanket it two sheets thick for her body and four thick for her head

(I suppose I could tidy up my sewing room a bit)

Roxy thought I made her a new kitty bed.  Sorry cat.  This one is for Aleah, but thanks for trying it out!

Sweet Kitty

Even Sophers had to try out the comfy flannel spot.

The whole family survived the first week of school.  And I think it made it a tiny bit easier to send her to school knowing she had a cozy place to rest during her afternoons away from me.

My Baby Goes to School!

19 Sep

I cannot believe we have come to this.  Throughout my morning I kept having flashbacks of baby Aleah, facing me while laying on my bent legs.  I kept remembering her little chubby face and how I wondered what she was thinking.  I also remember thinking that she was my new job and I would do anything for this wonderful new, sweet smelling person.

Yes, it is true.  My tiny little baby went to preschool today.  We took some cute first day pictures and a video.  Then we said a prayer for her where I got about three words out before I got too choked up to talk and Jared had to take over.  

Jared, Soph and I took her to her class with Aleah wearing a backpack that is bigger than she is (you can only see her legs when looking at her from behind).

She is so excited and ready but I am not sure the rest of us are ready.

Sophi kept asking where her class was and then when we told her that only Aleah would be going to school, she cried out, “But I’m BIG enough!”    Little does she know how much quality one on one time I am going to be smothering her with =)

I am glad Aleah and Lauren have each other

I know she is going to have tons of fun with her friends and learn some too.  The hardest thing for me is not being in control.  Since she was a slobbering baby I have been aware of her every move.  I have spend the last three hours trying to guess what she could be doing.  If she is getting along, how did lunch go?

This is a weird feeling for me to not know what she is up to.  I love you Aleah and am proud that you are such a big girl.  Good luck on your first day, I miss you.

Bear Head Lake State Park

17 Sep

I had never been to Ely, MN so we decided to make a Saturday trip over and see what we were missing.

On our way to Ely we stopped at Bear Head Lake State Park.  It has been voted best place to camp in MN numerous times.

The views were breathtaking and we scoped out which sites we would like to stay in when we come back next summer.

They even have sleeper cabins to you can enjoy the state park in the cool fall or spring.  Jared and I are thinking about making a winter trip out there so we can spend the night in the cabin and then cross country ski during the day.  Anniversary trip maybe?  =)

Ely was very exciting.  There were tons of cute stores with local and organic supplies.  We even took our cat to the vet in Ely since they are animal lovers.

It was a very fun outing with the kids and I can’t wait until we go back again and looking forward to camping there sometime soon.

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

15 Sep

I am finally okay with getting out the fall recipes.  The nights have gotten below freezing recently and the air is crisp.  Sweatshirts are out and the leaves are starting to change.  Bring on the soup and pumpkin bread.

Here is my new favorite recipe.  Just tried it last night and the soup was a huge success.

Crock Pot Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

8-10 cups turkey or chicken stock, divided
8 oz. uncooked wild rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 celery ribs, diced
2 carrots, diced
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons chicken soup base (I like Better Than Bouillon)
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups half-and-half or cream
2 cups diced cooked turkey
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (or one tablespoon dried parsley flakes)
salt and pepper to taste

Add eight cups of stock and the uncooked wild rice to a crock pot set to high. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and saute onion, celery and carrots until onion is transparent, about 10 minutes. Season with the black pepper, and add the sauteed veggies to the crock pot. Stir in the chicken soup base. Cook on high for 3-4 hours (or on low for 6-8 hours) until the wild rice and veggies are sufficiently tender.

In the same skillet over medium heat, melt 1/2 stick of butter. Whisk in the flour, and cook for a minute or two. Gradually add the half-and-half or cream, whisking constantly. You may wish to thin this mixture out with an additional cup of stock at this point. Once thickened and completely smooth, add the white sauce to the crock pot and stir to combine. Add the turkey and the parsley (and perhaps another cup of stock if you prefer a thinner soup), and cook on high for another 15-20 minutes until heated through. Taste to correct seasonings before serving.

Enjoy.  Because we sure did!

Alethea’s Greek Restaurant

12 Sep

For those of you who don’t know, Aleah’s full name is Alethea which means truth in Greek.  Jared is always showing her how her name is spelled with Greek letters and she thinks it is pretty cool.

One morning when Jared was telling her about her name again, she decided to have a special Greek restaurant.  Here is the hilarious menu dictated to Jared by Aleah:

Now, find a sit.  But don’t sit in your own seat where theres no people sitting so tell me and if you want fork, go to kitchen.

But we serve normal food

But we are having greek

Aleah’s Greek Restaurant.  If you want food, get a baby chair and sit with your kid, Love, Aleah’s Restaurant

Come on over if this sounds like a great restaurant for you!  She would be more than happy to give you some food and charge you for it too =)

Book Giveaway! comment from Sept 10th-Sept 24th to win

9 Sep

I never could have thought some of the doors that have opened to me or the people I have met because of my blog.  My sweater pants are being sold in a pretty awesome store in New York City, I have e-mailed and talked to other bloggers who are following my same goals and now…I got a FREE book in the mail!

This lovely lady who wrote a book gave me a book for free if I would just try out some of the activities inside, do a blog post on some crafts and then GIVE AWAY one of her books!  How stinking cool is this?  It is a $16.95 book and is filled with wonderful story based activities to do with your children.  And look here too!

Here is the book:

thumbnail image

So, you might ask.  How could I possibly win this great book?  Great question!  All ya have to do is comment a lot from Sept 10th until Sept 24th.  At the end of that time I will write the name of every commenter on a piece of paper, place it in a hat and pull out the lucky winner on the evening of September 24th.  Good luck to you all!

Here are the girlies doing one of the projects:

The project involved modpodging fabric onto smooth rocks.  After the rocks dry they girls used the rocks in their doll house, they have them walk around outside and especially have deep conversations.  They can create their own characters in a story.  How cool is that?

Sorry about the busy table cloth but aren’t the rocks cute?

After a while Sophi started using her paintbrush as a magical wand.  This is her turning me into a frog, I believe.

To keep Sophi occupied, we took away her “wand” and gave her some markers and paper.

Don’t forget to comment, this is one book you want to get your hands on!

I Miss Summer Already

7 Sep

It is a cold and rainy day here in the northwoods of Minnesota.  School has started, we had our first youth group and volleyball game.  Tonight we are headed to a home  football game for the Grizzlies.

We had SUCH a good summer.  So many wonderful sunny days spent at the beach.  Living out of coolers and wearing only swimming suits.  Ah, we had the life.

Don’t get me wrong, fall is a lovely season- I just don’t like the responsibility that comes with it.

Well, heres to a great fall ahead of us and a magnificent summer we have just experienced.

Cutest Bunny in the Garden

4 Sep

Last week when Sophi woke up from her nap I went to get her and there she was standing behind the door holding a bunny costume (we keep the dress-up clothes in her closet because it is quite large).

Imagine a groggy Sophi dragging a big bunny costume behind her with a pacifier in her mouth and her hair going in every direction.  She melts my heart everyday.

I didn’t want to wake up Aleah up because of Sophi’s bunny noises, so we headed out to the garden.

Okay.  I DID NOT PLAN THIS.  I SWEAR.    We were in the garden, she was dressed like a bunny, and all I had to do was bend down and pull a carrot out of the ground.  Couldn’t help myself.

She never ceases to make me laugh wth her spontaneity and her joyful spirit.