Sunday, November 28, 2010

A little bit of our Thanksgiving

I didn't take my camera out during our Thanksgiving dinner. But, I did take time to just sit and talk and listen and rest. (missing from the picture below is Summur, who always takes her camera everywhere!)
We invited 3 GFA families to join us for dinner. It was yummy! There were 7 kids ranging in age from 10 to 18 months. They all played very well together and had a good time.
I'm so thankful for all God has given us!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Some Random Pictures

I pulled out my camera and snapped some photos on Sunday so we could start putting together our Christmas card.
Rylee was jumping in the leaves (actually, that was Saturday) while the twins took a nap. On Sunday, she continued her adventures and the twins joined in.
After hearing me say "look here. smile. don't squint. open your eyes. stop doing that. can you please cooperate and we'll be done quickly?" a million times, I declared us "done". Then, the girls wanted to take pictures of me.

Angle is everything.At first, Rylee was standing on the ground and pointing the camera up at me. Not so good.
Then, I put her on the fort and she was looking down at me....much better.
Jenna wanted a turn, as well, so she shot a few pictures. I have to say, they both did a great job. And, my nice camera is pretty big for 4 and 6-year-old hands!I'm 30 weeks along in this pregnancy. The baby boy is kicking strong. He moves a lot, especially after the kids go to bed and I'm just sitting still. I had a check-up yesterday. The doctor said she thinks he's heads down. My blood pressure is great, my glucose test revealed no diabetes, and the baby's heartbeat was right on target. I now go to the doctor every two weeks, for the month of December, and then come January I will go once a week since I'll be 36 weeks on January 2. I can't believe it! We will be having another little baby in just two more months!!!

P.S. My handsome hubby wasn't around for much of these photography sessions, but I'm eagerly waiting to get my hands on some photos of him from our friends wedding two weeks ago. He was the Best Man and wore a tux. Boy, was he handsome! We're hoping there is a decent picture of the two of us from that event, but we'll have to wait and see.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Added a Recipe for Thanksgiving

I'll be making a green bean casserole. But, this isn't the traditional one. We like this one even better! Check it out and add something new to your Thanksgiving table!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Some Meal Prep

I made a big batch of freezer meals* last week. I just went to the grocery store and found chicken for a great price, so I'm stocking up some more.

My game plan is to have my freezer stocked with enough meals to make life a little easier once we become a family of six. I'm also trying to just prepare for the next two months of being pregnant--assuming I will want to rest more in the months to come.

*This asterisk is here because what I call "freezer meals" may not be what you'd call freezer meals or what you would find if you went searching for them online. I do a lot of 'partial' freezer cooking. It's really just a form of meal prep. It has helped me tremendously over the last year and a half! My sweet friend, Kristin, got me jump-started with it.

So, here are a few of the recipes I made and have loaded in my freezer right now:

--Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken (I already had 2 small packages of 2 chicken breasts frozen, so I just made the sauce and then poured it --once it cooled-- into a Ziploc with the pineapple, peppers, and celery. Then, I bundled the chicken ziplocs with the sauce ziploc.)

--Balsamic Pork Chops (I just freeze the chops and label the bag with the name. This isn't really "freezer cooking" since I still have to prep once they are thawed, but at least I have a plan for this particular bag of chops.)

--Shepherd's Pie (I make the beef mixture and freeze it in ziploc bags. When ready to use, thaw the meat, make some mashed potatoes--I use instant, assemble the dish, and bake.)

--Chicken Fajitas

--Sloppy Joe's (I actually only cooked the beef with onions. I'll make the sauce when I'm ready to cook these, though you could do the whole thing in advance and make it a true freezer dish.)

--Sweet Soy Chicken

--Sausage & Cheddar Biscuits (Something for a quick breakfast on the run!)

I'm linking each one to a separate post on my food blog. It hasn't been updated in a very long time, so I thought this was a fitting opportunity. I also list the source for each recipe there.

I love to look for recipes online. I keep them in bookmarks, separated by type of dish (main-chicken, main-pork, main-Italian, side dish, dessert, etc). Once I have tried a dish, I delete the bookmark. If we like the dish, I print it and put it in our family's favorites binder. (I'll post about that later.) And, if you look at our food blog, I have a label for "freezer meal". I'm going to try and keep updating it. *try* is the key word there

What plan works to feed your family with as little fuss as possible?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

What's To Come...

I'm taking a few deep breaths. It's nice and relaxing!

I mentioned in my last post that I've been really busy. Joel and I were blessed to be part of the wedding for two friends at GFA this weekend. This last week was busy with preparations and planning and then festivities. It was a lot of fun! Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of the event. I was that busy. (Those of you who know me well know that means really, really, really busy!)

So, what's to come?

This week I will add some of the recipes and an update on how I'm planning food for our family's soon-to-come expansion. (We have just 11 more weeks until the due date, assuming this little guy waits until then!)

This afternoon we took a tour of the hospital where we plan to have the baby. I have to say it made me a lot more excited and tad bit nervous. I really, really like the hospital. Having had a c-section with the twins, but hoping to not repeat that procedure this go 'round, I am definitely going to be in a hospital and I think this one is the best choice. They are incredibly supportive of my situation and desires, but I also know they are fully capable of handling things well should the plan have to change.

Some friends requested that we register for some baby items, so we squeezed that into last weekend and that also served to get me more excited.

I can't believe we're going to be a family of 6 in just over 2 more months! Really, I'll be the mom of four?! Wow; I'm blessed!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Little of This, LIttle of That

Good thing I pre-posted our newsletter or else I would have been sadly lacking in recent postings!

I feel like the last few weeks have been jam-packed with activities and responsibilities and some really neat happenings.

This last weekend I had the opportunity to speak at our church's women's retreat. Wow. It was just really neat. I can't fully explain all the ways I was blessed by getting to share, but one way, in particular, was the connection it seemed to immediately give me with almost every woman there! They shared their stories with me; after all, I had just shared mine. They told me their weaknesses and insecurities; after all, I had laid quite a few things bare from the stage. It was just a really neat time of seeing the Lord at work.

Our theme was "Walking by Faith, Not By Sight". I learned a lot as I prepared to share from God's Word and as He led me. I love how God teaches us something and then allows us to turn around and teach another person the lesson. I guess the teacher in me is still alive and well.

Maybe I'll write about the major points of what I shared at some point, but right now I'm just a little tired. Being 28 weeks pregnant will do that to you, I reckon.

Oh, yeah, I guess I should take a picture to update that too.
And, last night Joel helped me prep meat for 7 meals. At some point I want to share the recipes I'm using in case anyone else out there would be interested.

But, for now...I get to help with a friend's wedding this week. They are getting married Friday night. We've been very blessed to walk alongside them in the last few months as they prepare for marriage and now we get to take part in all the festivities. I'm so excited! So, I better go nap so I'll have enough energy.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Parties and Playtime

We enjoyed several Halloween gatherings this year.
Thursday night my kids went to a friend's birthday costume party. On Friday, the twins and I went to a party for preschoolers at church while Rylee wore her costume to school. And, Sunday the kids dressed up for the third time to attend a local "Fall Festival" and to go trick-or-treating.
Last week I searched the internet and came up with a list of a dozen costumes I could make/put together. The kids picked their favorites. Rylee was going to be a butterfly, Asa a robot, and Jenna a bag of jellybeans. None of them wore the same outfit for all three events!Rylee didn't really like the way her wings were turning out on Thursday (me either!). So, she opted to wear some of her ballerina clothing. She stuck with it for the Friday and Sunday events.
Asa wore Spiderman (from his dress-up box, thanks to Grandma and Granddaddy 2 years ago!) for the Thursday night party because Daddy hadn't made his robot suit yet. He came home and tried it on and decided to stick with Spiderman since the robot was a lot less comfortable. (and the baby was a basketball and I was a hoop/backboard)
Jenna wore her dress-up Tinkerbell costume on Thursday since the jellybean suit wasn't yet ready. But, she was very excited to don her plastic bag filled with balloons for Friday and Sunday!The kids bobbed for apples, decorated cookies, and played outside for the preschool party. On Sunday we went to a local carnival that was not exactly what we had in mind. Everything was expensive and absolutely nothing was free. If you know me well, you know I'm all about free! I really don't enjoy things as much if I've had to pay what I think is too high a price.
We managed to get rid of the tickets we bought at the festival as the kids enjoyed the petting zoo and a very long obstacle course. Then, we decided to just return to our neighborhood for good old fashioned trick-or-treating. Yep, it's the most simple and the best!
I absolutely LOVED watching my three kids giggle in excitement as they ran from house to house getting their bags filled with candy! How much fun! much are we going to actually let them eat?!