Monday, November 30, 2009

easy peasy advent calendar.

I've wanted a GOOD advent calendar for a few years now. One that you could put a little something in.
I wanted this advent calendar from Pottery Barn Kids, but $69...I don't think so. Besides, it's sold out anyway.
So, I came up with my own, and it cost about $15.
12x12{ish}piece of plywood {about $2.
25 boxes. {I got mine for .25 each}
decorative paper {$4}
mod podge glue {$3}

glue on boxes {with lids on} in 5 rows of 5.
Yeah, it's not all perfect and even, but you get the picture.
Then take off all your lids and cover them with your paper, and numbers if you'd like.
advent 7
Wallah. Easy peasy advent calendar.
advent 6

Saturday, November 21, 2009


SO...last night I went to the opening of NEW MOON with my good friends Allison and Beth.
There we stood in line 45 minutes before the movie with teenage girls, cougars, and men who had been dragged there. In front of us there were three young girls {talking faster than I could think...did I used to be like that?} and not moving WITH THE LINE while a Mom, Dad and their two girls behind us, and here is the MOTHER who is practically ON TOP OF ALLISON as if someone would sneak in between her and Allison if she wasn't and SHE WASN'T EVEN GOING to the 10PM showing ANYWAY, she was going to the 10:30!
Let me tell you some of these people needed to R-E-L-A-X.
It was an experience. I cannot even IMAGINE what a premiere with the actors actually there. It must be complete madness. Madness that I want NO part of.

Anyway the movie was pretty great. Compared to the first film which I did enjoy, it was a bit dark and too dramatic, this was amazing.
It's the look,the feel {no, not it's not cotton} of the film that the added time and money committed to New Moon that compared with Twilight, that makes it supremely better. And the settings, from the cliffs and the gorgeous forests, to the Tuscan scenes of the Volterra, gives the movie a less darker feel. While at times the background music seemed overdone, I appreciated the indie soundtrack that accompanied and complimented the movie. I also appreciated director Chris Weitz's {who is new on the scene,Catherine Hardwicke directed Twilight} faithfulness to the book, and I dare say his additions at times, improves it.
There are people here who won't "get it",and I understand. They don't connect with the stories, and this clearly isn't for them. Kind of like Harry Potter wasn't for me.
The film was good, the acting was overall well done {I thought Dakota Fanning was FABULOUS in her small role as Jane}, the dialogue works well and there is a good amount of humor which is mostly well placed. I'm left interested and excited to see the direction they'll take with Eclipse.

on a more humorous note NEXT TO and BEHIND us was this group of like 10 women {WHO HAD TO BE IN THEIR 40's if not close to 50} one of which BEFORE the movie began was dancing and acting like a COMPLETE buffoon.
Throughout the film they were shouting whenever a shirt was off or perhaps a kiss was going to occur. It was RIDICULOUS. These Women were old enough to BE the guys in this films MOTHERS! Crazy I tell you. We had our suspicions that they had been drinking and sure enough when the film let out we saw their.
As we exited a the dancing buffoon and friends where standing together, and she puts her arm around her friend and says;

"That movie was AH-MAZ-ING"

Guess the film changed her life. :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

the week before we give thanks.

bird. 10.30.2009

Justin has been working 10 {ten} hour days, 6{six} days a week. It's a little ridiculous and I'm pretty sure, long term I can't deal with it. It has been fine so far, but I see it getting old quickly. I do miss him, and I know how tired he is.
This week has been insane, and here are a few selected stories from the week so far.

Justin and I have been having the same argument for WEEKS. It is not a serious or important argument, but neither of us is willing to give. So Monday we are in bed talking and he falls asleep on me mid-conversation!!
Instead of jolting him {which is my preferred method of waking him...not his} I decided to try the annoyed sigh...loudly sighing him awake.
Didn't work, so I'm going back to jolting...although that night I let the man sleep.
It was a Monday after all.

Ev. the L-man and I went to GAP to buy Justin some fleece lined jeans for work. I am walking to the register and Evan is just ahead of me, and I can't even tell you how it happened but all of the sudden he appears with a Mountain Dew in his hand, SIPPING it like he has had it all along.
"where did you get that?"
" I dunno. Over there."
I see a bunch of employees putting up new fixtures and new clothes out and realize
it is one of theirs.
So, instead of alerting them all that my three year old has potentially backwashed in their drink of choice I put the drink back from where I thought he picked it up.
My Dad would DIE. My germo-phobe {technical term} Dad who is A DOCTOR for crying out loud would die if he heard that. Let's say my Mom took a bite out of a sandwich and decided she didn't want the rest. My Dad would surgically cut the sandwich at about a length of 1.5 inches away from the bite so he wouldn't get the germs.
I'm not sure why I just included that, but it seemed like a good way to tease my Dad.

By the way, what does Evan want for Christmas? Diet Soda. {I don't buy it, and so he wants it}

I'll give a little shout out to Justin too who won his first indoor soccer game {which I'm NOT jealous of at all since I get to stay home with our boys...ahem} and scored all three goals the team had. WOOT.

Evan makes a HUGE ruckus when he uses the toilet. He makes a lot of noise, slamming toilet seat up and down...I think he wants the WHOLE HOUSE to know that he has used the bathroom.
Last night, Max was brushing his teeth and Evan was using the toilet and as I was on my way upstairs to help them finish up and get into bed I hear the slam and a cry.
You guessed it, Evan slammed his P in with the lid.
Poor kid, I'm sure it killed.
I came back downstairs and Justin and I laughed at his expense.
We are GREAT parents.

Any "fun" things happen with you yet this week?

{ps-I have a fun tutorial coming least I thought it was fun, and maybe you will too.}

Thursday am addition:

This morning I met a nice Grandfather at Panera, got a free tire rotation, and a free bluetooth since my cell phone speaker broke. Been a GREAT Thursday so far :)

Friday, November 13, 2009


the boys. 10.30.2009

brothers. 10.30.2009

brothers.10.30.2009 take 2

It was nice growing up with someone like you - someone to lean on, someone to count on... someone to tell on! ~Author Unknown

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Romans 6:10-11


I've been reading in Romans and this morning I was in Chapter 6 and these verses {11,12} really struck me....

" For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So YOU must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God IN Christ Jesus."

I don't know about you but I sometimes expect these huge epiphanies when i'm reading the word...not everyday, but every now and then. I'm finding {and learning} that is things we might have seen or heard over and over can suddenly hit you differently as

Jesus died for our sins! AMEN!! HOWEVER he DEFEATED not only sin but death as well! WHOA.

In verse 11 it says we "...must consider yourselves dead to sin..." as in the power and command that sin has had in our lives has been broken, because of Gods grace and work on the cross.
The grasp of sin in our lives has been broken!

What a joy!
What a relief!
What a comfort!

How wonderful are his mercies? New EVERY morning. {Lam. 2:22,23}
So that we, his children can overcome and conquer sin.
We are made ALIVE in him. All we need to do is come before him on our hands and knees.
Beg him for mercy, for help that we might overcome our ugly, sinful, heart desires and instead run to him.



That's why I think preaching the gosepel to yourslef daily is so helpful. Your mind is on him, on the prize which is ETERNAL life with HIM!

What a gift.
I pray I may be more dilligent in living my life FOR Him.

A good friend who is going through A LOT of tough stuff right now, sent me this song this morning{here are some of the lyrics:

Mikeschair - Let the Waters Rise

God You know where I’ve been
And You were there with me then
You were faithful before You’ll be faithful again
I’m holding Your hand

There's a raging sea
Right in front of me
Wants to pull me in
Bring me to my knees

So let the waters rise
If You want them to
I will follow You
I will follow You

God Your love is enough
You will pull me through
I’m holding onto You
God Your love is enough
I will follow You
I will follow You

Monday, November 09, 2009

soccer 2009.

We've begun extra-circulars in this casa, and this fall Maxwell played soccer.
He loved being on the team, he had some great teammates and Max was a pretty good player if I say so myself.

game time. 10.2009
Evan SO wished he was on the field. He did enjoy the games...and especially enjoyed the post- game snack. Snacks crack me up. At this age the kids look more forward to the snacks more than the actual game!
evan @ soccer. 2009
Liam cheering on his big brother...and giving me a look.
liam @soccer. 2009

These three were a POWERHOUSE. That girl...Jaycee...was INCREDIBLE. She was so aggressive and got right in there with the best of 'em...I was quite impressed with that little lady. The boy behind Max was Johann...he was a quick little fella...complete with rat tail. He doesn't speak a LICK of English but he sure is a sweet boy.
kickoff. 10.2009
Breakaway that let to a gggggooooooooooaaaalllll!!!
goal!!!!!!!! 10.2009
team picture {with a couple kiddos missing}
cougars. 2009
A fun season!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Katie's recipe swap.

Katie is looking for some good recipes, so I thought I'd join in on the fun...

ROCKIN Mac and Cheese {this ain't Kraft Mac and Cheese...and I have NO idea where I got this recipe...but it's a favorite at our house.}

image- southern

I'm telling you... this stuff is UH-MAZING.


1 lb. elbow macaroni
3 tbsp. butter
4 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 c. milk {room temp.}
4 c. shredded cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, colby jack, or whatever you like!)
salt, black pepper, and fresh nutmeg
10 oz. box of frozen pureed squash

Cook the pasta in boiling, WELL SALTED water like the box says, probably eight or nine minutes. While it cooks, make the cheese sauce.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the flour, and stir it like crazy with a whisk.
Whisk that together until your mixture turns a golden color.
Add the milk, and whisk like crazy again.
Don't burn your sauce!
Lower the heat and season the sauce with a couple of good pinches of salt and a little pepper and nutmeg.
Now it's time to add the cheese.
Just stir the cheese in until it melts. Taste the sauce to see if it tastes good, and it should! Add the defrosted squash to the mixture and make sure it's all well mixed.
Then add the cooked, drained pasta to the sauce in a large bowl or the pot you cooked the pasta in. Stir it together, and pour it into a casserole dish.
Bake it for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees until it's a little brown on top.

Chicken Enchiladas {Mad Hungry, Feeding men and boys- Lucinda Quinn...I just got this book and LOVE it !}
- this is good with or without the salad on top.



green sauce-
1/2 white onion, chopped
2 garlic coves, unpeeled
2 jalapeno chili's, stems removed
14 whole tomatillos, peeled and simmered in water for 5 min.
1/4 cup unsalted roasted peanuts
2 tablespoons coarse salt
1/2 cup chicken broth

{OR if you don't want to or to save time you can buy green ench. sauce....just make sure it is made with tomatillos...tastes MUCH better}

1 tbsp. veg oil. + 2 teas. for salad
3 cups of green sauce
12 corn tortillas
4 cups shredded chicken {I used a rotisserie chicken}
7 oz. Monterrey jack or queso fresco cheese
3-4 cups romaine lettuce
6 radishes trimmed and sliced
1 tbsp. white vinegar

{to make sauce}
preheat broiler. place onion, garlic and chilies on baking sheet. cook for 4 min. discard garlic skin. Place onion, garlic and chilies in blender with tomatillos, peanuts, salt and broth. Blend until smooth.

PRE-heat oven to 375.

Heat a saucepan to medium high and add tablespoon of oil. Add green sauce and cook a bit to thicken it up.
One by one dip in tortillas and place in 9x13 fill with some chicken {I add a little cheese too}
and roll 'er up.
Fit each ench. snugly next to the other in the dish.
Pour remaining green sauce over enchiladas.
Sprinkle Cheese on top.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until sauce is bubbling and the enchiladas are heated through.

While ench. cook toss lettuce and radishes with 2 teas. oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Layer salad on top of hot ench. and serve immediately.

Vegetable Lasagna {What can I say? I heart Martha.}


4 cups (32 ounces) whole-milk ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
Salt and fresh ground pepper
2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed to remove excess moisture
1 cup shredded carrots {I added's not in the orig. recipe}
6 cups store-bought or homemade tomato sauce
12 no-boil lasagna noodles (8 ounces)
1 pound fontina cheese (4 cups), shredded
1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together ricotta cheese, eggs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add spinach, and stir well to combine.
2.Spread a small bit of tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish or dishes. Arrange a layer of lasagna noodles on top. Spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture over the noodles, followed by 1/3 of the remaining sauce; sprinkle with 1/3 of the grated cheese. Repeat to make two more layers, ending with cheese. If freezing, cover tightly with plastic wrap. Before baking, defrost in the refrigerator overnight.
3.Cover with aluminum foil. Bake 30 minutes. Remove foil; continue baking until top is golden brown, about 15 minutes more. Let cool slightly before serving.

Taco Lasagna { from my mother-in-law}
1 lb. ground beef
1 packet taco seas.
4 cups salsa
1 31 oz. can refried beans
6- 9 inch tortillas { I've used corn and flour}
3 cups Mexican cheese mix

brown meat and drain. Add taco seas, and 2/3 c. water.
Add salsa.
layer 9x13 with 1/3 meat sauce.
cover with 2 tortillas.
layer with another 1/3 of meat sauce and 1 c. cheese.
cover with 2 tortillas
spread can of refried beans on this layer, and 1 c. of cheese over beans.
layer last 2 tortillas.
cover with the last of the meat, and cheese

bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Meatballs for spaghetti { from our friend Dana Conley}


2 eggs
1 cup dry Italian bread crumbs
2 T finely chopped onions
2 T grated parm. cheese
1 teas. salt
1/2 teas. pepper
1/2 teas. garlic powder
1/2 teas. Italian seas.
1.5 lbs. ground beef
.5 lb. of ground pork

combine all ingredients well. {using your hands works best!}
shape into 1 " balls and place unto ungreased {rimmed} baking sheet

bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes

serve with sauce and pasta. YUM!

Greek potatoes { from my Mom..a GREAT side dish or good served with some good veggies}
1 med. onion, chopped
1/2 teas. oregano
1 chopped garlic clove
1 tbsp. oil
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 teas. each of thyme, basil, and rosemary.
16 oz. can of chicken broth.
5lbs. potatoes

Saute onion, oregano and garlic in oil. Add all other ingredients besides potatoes and broth.
Peel and cut potatoes into wedges.
Arrange into a 9x13.
Add broth to sauce and bring to a boil.
Pour over potatoes and bake at 450 for 45 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

last week.

These two...
endoct.2009 032
can get into a whole heap of trouble together. Did I mention Addie is a month OLDER than Liam? He's a monster!! I had 5 kids one day last week! Well only 4 about half the time as Max was at school...but I have to admit that it's true what they say... after you go from two to three, anything after that is like piece of cake...or something like that. {Megan you TOLD ME SO!} And so with 4 kids 3 and under I made bread.
endoct.2009 071

Look. I've never been much of an artist, but for my first attempt at baguettes I think they look cool{ish}. While my dough rested and rose this was going on...
endoct.2009 037

Evan was in charge since Max was still at school and the younger three soaked up every ounce of energy Evan had to offer. They were pretty fun to watch at ages 3, 2,1, and 11 months.

It was quite the afternoon of children...and bread....oh, and pumpkin muffins.

But back to the bread.
endoct.2009 072

This bread is SO easy and I highly recommend the book I got the recipe from.

DOUGH: Simple, Contemporary Bread {by, Richard Bertinet}

I'm TELLING you, if I can do it, you can too.

It is so incredibly easy and even I, yes lil' ol' me can make some tasty, yummy, and {sometimes} stellar looking bread.

It's good stuff.

Monday, November 02, 2009

the dr. & bakugan dan.

dr. swanson 10.31.2009
I think Dr. suits the L-man pretty nicely.

Dan {evan} 10.31.2009

Evan was this Bakugan character...even though neither of us really have a clue what Bakugan is.
He also called the trick-or-treaters "customers"

poor Max wasn't feeling so hot on Saturday, so I didn't get any pictures of him in his Power Rangers get-up. He did inform me he would like some photographic evidence that he was, indeed the Red Power Ranger.