Friday, August 31, 2012


Zoey loves to play on our bed.
She will roll around and laugh.
Today I stuck her on the bed with a little pink floatie. She thought it was pretty fantastic!

Fall Bucket List

It's the last day of August!

With September arriving tomorrow I am welcoming fall festivities and fun. 
(Despite the fact that fall weather is pretty much non-existent in southern California!)

This is what I have planned so far:

Caramel Apples
picking our own apples and making our own caramel for dipping, buying apples from the store and making our own caramel for dipping, or buying the done deal from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate way or another the caramel apples will happen :)

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate
Starbucks makes the best!

Visit the Pumpkin Patch
We have a pretty good local pumpkin patch with a petting zoo, corn maze, and games.

Bake Pumpkin Cookies
Ty loves pumpkin cookies. I bought 2 large cans of pumpkin from the store this morning so that I can be ready to make these cookies at any time!

Visit to Oak Glen for apple cider
Fresh apple cider is amazing. We drink it cold or hot with lots of spices!

Visit to Idyllwild
a perfect spot for collecting acorns and pinecones for fall decorating

Visit to a local Farmer's Market
I hear Palm Springs has a pretty good one during the fall and winter months

Bagels from Panera

We spent a lot of time at Panera when we lived in Tennessee. I wish we had one closer to us now! It has become a planned destination.

Buy new boots and skinny jeans
this may be an activity that only I enjoy, but I am including it here anyway!

Make some delicious chili
this may take a few test recipes.

Watch the Nightmare Before Christmas and get ready for Halloween!

That's all so far!
I am looking forward to the next few months.
Happy Fall!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Shoes and Dinner

Wednesday already!

Today is an early release day for Max. After we pick him up from school we need to pick up a new pair of ballet slippers for Mia. She has outgrown her old ones! Ballet started 3 weeks ago and she has been dancing in too tight shoes. For tonight's class she will have new shoes that fit :)

Ballet class goes from 4:30-5:15. It doesn't leave me a lot of prep time to make dinner afterward. Crock pot dinners are great and I am not opposed to pizza but tonight I have plans for a great make a head dinner!

This Sweet Potato Gnocchi is one of our favorite dinners.
The gnocchi can be made ahead of time and then thrown into the freezer for later. I like to serve it with a brown butter and sage sauce and then top the whole thing off with parmesan cheese. Serve it with a salad from a bag and dinner is super simple.
That's my plan for tonight anyway!

I may end up throwing together some dessert.
I haven't made brownies in a while and these Salty fudge Brownies from une gamine dans la quisine look pretty awesome!

Monday, August 27, 2012

A new week!

1. I am stocking the fridge and pantry today. I spent the morning chopping broccoli and washing berries. Later I am going to be baking up a big batch of THESE mini muffins for the kid's breakfasts and lunches.

2. My parents came over for dinner last night. We enjoyed THIS cake for dessert. The frosting was amazing! 

3. My laundry room is filled with items that need to make there way to D.I. Ty will be home tomorrow and I am hoping we can make a trip out that way. I love getting rid of things :)

4. I am signing Max up to take karate lessons. He has been wanting to give it a try for a long time. Classes start next month. 

5. For the past few weeks I have been adjusting to school schedules and potty training Zack. There has not been much creativity going on at home and I am ready to get back to some of the fun. 

6. Mondays sure do come fast!

Friday, August 24, 2012


 I wanted to go camping with Ty and the kids.
I wanted it to be super fun.
 We booked a night at Bogart Park in Cherry Valley.
 We did a little hiking and exploring.
 There was some sword fighting.
 I wanted to get a nice picture of our little campsite.
The kids were going to party in the big tent and Ty and I were going to cuddle in the smaller one.
 I planned a yummy dinner. We had curly dogs. We wrapped hot dogs in rhodes roll dough and roasted the whole thing over our campfire. They were a hit.
After dinner we played some games and watched a group of people ride by on their horses. We made our s'mores as the sun was setting.

We set the kids up in the kid tent with a movie. Ty and I sat up by the campfire with Zoey.
Then there was a bear. A large bear that wandered into camp. I was terrified. I wanted to get all of the kids in the car and drive away. Just as I was about to begin the exodus a car drove by and the headlights scared the bear away. Then Mia came out of her tent and threw up.

Then I decided to come home with the girls!
Zack had already fallen asleep and Max wanted to stay. Ty seemed unmoved by the bear incident so he stayed behind with the boys. I gave it a good try and I really enjoyed the whole evening in the wilderness with a fun campfire dinner, but I think the overnight part is overrated. I am going to sleep in my house where there are no bears.

Friday Things

I would love to organize my kitchen cupboards.
I would really love for them to look something like this:

Kevin and Amanda know a thing or two about organization in the kitchen.

Fall needs to arrive so that I can bake these 
and serve them with soup.
(sounds good right!!)

Ty and I are taking the kids on an overnight camping trip to Bogart Park.
There will be s'mores and glow sticks and dirt!
Hopefully it will be a good experience!

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Peanut Butter

I love peanut butter!

It is one of my desert island foods for sure!

I made a new pinterest board today, dedicated to peanut butter.

It is full of recipes like this one for

I made these the other night after the kids were in bed so that I could eat them (and the dough) by myself.

I didn't eat them all that night, but they are gone now (time to make more!)

Do you like peanut butter? Do you love peanut butter?
Do you dislike peanut butter?

Just something to ponder!

This and That

1. The new school year is going great! Mia is loving kindergarten. She walks by herself to class. Her favorite snack to bring to school are peanut butter crackers.

2. Max loves school. He loves his friends. He is amazing too! (Max would eat cake and ice cream all day if I let him, but his school lunch includes his favorite bagel sandwich with ham and cheese!)

3. This week our little kindergarten car-pool began. There are 4 of us moms from church that have kids in kindergarten at the same school. We are each taking one week out of each month to pick up the kids from school. Next week is my week.

4. Zackary seems to be loving his time at home without the older kids. I think this is because he can freely play with their toys :)

5. Zoey is all cuddles. She loves her mommy. I love being her mommy :)

6. Ty and I went to Target yesterday and they were having a sale on t-shirts and camis for $5 a piece. I bought lots. It was fun.

7. Did you know that Trader Joe's chocolate chips are supplied by Ghiradelli??? No wonder I love them! They are cheaper than buying the Ghiradelli brand from the store as well....extra bonus ;)

Happy Tuesday!

Saturday, August 18, 2012


 We celebrated Max's 7th birthday today with an army themed party!
 I ordered a bunch of blank dog tags for the boys to write their names on and wear at the party.
 Ty made marshmallow guns and I filled little bags with "ammo".
We set up some targets in the back yard, but the boys had the most fun shooting at each other!
 Everyone spent a lot of time on the trampoline.
 We used water balloons as grenades and launched them onto the trampoline while everyone bounced. The boys loved it. They especially enjoyed throwing the balloons that failed to pop back at us!
 There were presents.
 and cake. (that I bought undecorated from Costco and had the party people decorate with candy and military vehicles.)
Happy Birthday Max!

Max is the best kid. He is a huge helper to me. He works hard at school and he loves his friends. I am so glad he is a part of our family.
I hope 7 is a fantastic year for Max!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

First Day of School!

 Max is a 2nd grader today!
 He wore a pair of camouflage shorts.
 And his flashy new skechers.
 Mia is in kindergarten! She looked beautiful in her pink sparkly shirt.
 And her Hello Kitty shoes!
 The backpacks this year are Avengers for Max and Lalaloopsy for Mia.

Zackary joined in for this picture before we ran off to school.
 I hope this year is wonderful for them.

Monday, August 13, 2012

A quick list

1. School starts on Wednesday.
I have mixed emotions! 

2. We are celebrating 2 birthdays this week. My brother Joel's and Max's. 2 parties to plan and celebrate!

(This is the cake that I am making for my brother.
Recipe HERE.
Max is getting a Costco cake that we are decorating at home with army men.
We are all going to get very fat.)

3. It is 3 am and I am awake.

4. My brother Jamison is staying with us on Friday night.

5. It is going to be a busy week. It's all good stuff. Just lots of stuff!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

San Marzano

 I am loving canned San Marzano tomatoes.
I have been using them to make homemade tomato sauce for pasta, pizza, or whatever!
It is the easiest and best tomato sauce recipe.

It uses only 3 ingredients; tomatoes, butter, and an onion.

You can find the recipe HERE at Smitten Kitchen.

Nutella Sandwiches

Zackary loves Nutella sandwiches. I make them by sandwiching nutella between 2 slices of bread and grilling them with lots of butter.
Zackary eats all but the crusts. After eating his sandwich today, he gave all of the crusts to Zoey. (Such a kind big brother!) and she was thrilled :)


1. I had a dentist appointment this morning to get 3 cavities filled. It was my first experience with cavities, fillings, etc...My mouth is completely numb.

2. We are trying to get Zack out of diapers. He has proven much more difficult than his older siblings.

3. Max and Mia want to go see the new Diary of a Whimpy Kid movie. I am really not up for it right now. (Numb mouth and all...) I am hoping Ty will be in the mood to take them later!

4. Mia started her new year of dance lessons yesterday. She is taking Primary Ballet this time around. She didn't want to mess around with tap shoes anymore. Mia is a strictly ballet slipper kind of girl!

5. I fed Max and Ty apple pie with milk for lunch. They were hungry as soon as I walked in the door from my appointment. Hopefully the numbness wears off soon or I may feed everyone pie for dinner as well.

6. Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Splash Pad

My brother and I took the kids to Victoria Gardens this morning for some splash play and shoe shopping.
 It was hot and the kids were ready to get wet.
 At least Max and Mia were ready.
Zac stood on the sidelines and watched for quite a while before he finally ventured in.
 The kids had a blast splashing around.
Zoey sat in the shade with Uncle Joel and ate crackers.
She was very happy!
After the water fun we did the shoe shopping. It was totally painless! Max and Mia picked out what they wanted. I approved. I picked out something for Zac. He approved. Now we are ready for school!
After shoes we played at the playground and had a little lunch. Before heading home we stopped at the candy store and picked out a few treats.
I love my little people and our little outings :)

A Decision

 August is the hottest month of the year here in southern California. The past few days have proved that! 
In an attempt to keep the house cool, and to give myself a break, I have decided to stop cooking until it cools down again.

The kids don't eat anyway.

I am going to stock up on cereal, fruit, granola bars, bread, and peanut butter!
If nothing else, this will be an interesting experiment and we will see if the family wants me to start cooking again in September.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Homeless Family Members

My parents are homeless and so is my brother.

My parents sold their house and moved out before their new home was ready to be moved into. They are living in out of suitcases. They are staying with friends and occasionally with us! My brother was supposed to move into a new house with a group of his friends early last week, but the financing has not gone through and he is still waiting for the keys! He has been spending a lot of his days and his nights at our house while he waits to move in.

My kids are loving all of the special family time we are having. I am enjoying having a reason to cook a nice meal on nights that Ty works late.
It is working out well for us, but I know my parents and my brother are ready to be in their own homes.

It was not too long ago that Ty and I were in the same homeless situation! When Ty graduated from anesthesia school we were out of money and we had no where to live! We stayed with my parents while Ty started working and as we house hunted. It was so wonderful to find a place and make it our own. It was pretty great to start spending our own money too!

My poor family! I hope everything goes through soon. 

Until washer and dryer are here for them :)

Friday, August 3, 2012


1. It's Friday!
 (Too bad Ty has to work all day today and tomorrow before he finally gets a break on Sunday!)

2. My parents are coming for dinner tonight so the kids and I are going to have a fun Friday evening anyway.

3. Zoey is having some tummy troubles and she doesn't want to eat anything aside from nursing. I hope she feels better soon. (For her sake and mine!)

4. I am taking the kids shoe shopping today. Everyone needs school shoes and Zackary only has sandals that fit him so new shoes it is :)

5. Only one full week of summer vacation left before school starts on the 15th! I can't believe how quickly the time has gone. I am excited for the kids to start a new school year, but I am sad to say goodbye to our summer. So glad we still have that one week left to enjoy!

Happy Friday!