Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Family dinner time

I grew up with family dinners. We all came to the table at dinner time and my mom served a meal for us. It was a given. So, imagine my surprise when we moved into a home, as a family and I was the "mom" who was supposed to put the meals together for us to all enjoy together at the dinner table together to talk about our day. I never considered the amount of pressure that act which is known to be imperative for a healthy family unit could put on my shoulders. I mentioned in my last post, what I think about our family dining set, and the absolute joy I had to see it go! And when we bought this house, the eat in kitchen that once was, has been replaced with a large island with two bar stools. Two bars stools for a family of 4 and a dining room that is not cohesive to daily life spells disaster for "family dinner time" add to that the fact that my husband is self employed and is gone most nights when dinner is served, and momma has to get creative! Last year, we were doing family dinners once a week. It was something that I worked hard to achieve each week on Sunday. Sort of the "Fresh start" to a new week send off. I will be blunt and honest here when I say, it SUCKS to cook for my kids! I never thought I would have picky kids. Afterall, I knew all the "tricks" for getting kids to eat. They were great eaters as babies, and for the most part still are, but when I say that my kids are opposites in the taste bud department, it's an understatement! Acilia LOVES veggies, infact when she was about 3, her dinners consisted of heaping bowls of veggies! Miles on the other hand is quite choosey about the veggies he will eat, yet he LOVES fruit. Acilia doesn't like her food to touch, so I could take all of the ingredients she loves and put them together to try to get creative, and she won't eat the meal, however, if they were all served separate she would gobble them up! Miles isn't too crazy about meat, but BOTH kids love pasta. Hubby and I like just about anything, but it's pointless in my mind to make a big dinner, when hubby isn't home and my kid's won't eat it.

One more reason why I am yearning to move. This past weekend we went on a short little vacay and in the villa that we stayed in, was a beautiful eat in kitchen! It was my mission for all of us to sit together at the table for each of our meals and just enjoy each other's company. The pressure of cooking was off because we were eating our meals from restaurants, and we were all able to just sit and talk and it was G R E A T! It got me super excited about the eat in kitchen I am coveting in our new house and even though my husband's schedule won't change, our dinner time habit of eating anywhere in the house will most definitely change! We are all in for a rude but necessary awakening and I can't wait!
Since I am in the dreamy mode, I will share a few pics of eat in kitchens that I am drooling over!

Friday, March 22, 2013


We have this gorgeous antique dining room furniture set. It's been in our home since before we moved in. We bought with the house, if that makes more sense. It was one of those sets that was sort of "made for the house" but not by any means really my style. I lived with it for 8 years, but I did tell hubby we would not be relocating this set with us when we move. So, it went up for sale. It's been up for sale for a few months, I had many interested parties, but when it came time to actually come get it, things always fell through. I even had a few people ask if I would separate it. At first I was not keen on that idea, but after it wasn't selling, I thought, why not? So, I listed each part of the set separately and guess what, I got an inquiry for the whole set! Ironic right? :) They planned to come today, but I wasn't too hopeful that it would actually go! It was a delightful "business exchange" they brought their 6 year old son and Miles entertained him with Legos!

First they moved everything to the porch. I had to laugh because the man that came asked if my hubby was home. My poor husband, each and every time I sell something, he ends up getting weaseled into helping the buyer carry it out! Even when he was on dialysis, he was asked to help!! I told him hubby wasn't home and I am sure that's not what he wanted to hear, but I jokingly assured him that my hubby was probably thankful not to be there! :) I then did my wife duty and texted my husband and told him not to rush home, or he might get stuck moving furniture AGAIN! :) All of this furniture moving really gave me a feel for moving day, OH I CAN'T WAIT!! And, in the meantime, I get to enjoy an EMPTY ROOM!! The kids were enjoying the open space too!! Acilia did about 50 cartwheels and Miles was making circles!

Sweet joys!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Coach appreciation

Acilia just finished up her Poms season and the coach went above and beyond! I wanted to do something special for her. This coach was always bringing treats for the girls for their hard work and when I started looking for inspiration for a gift, I found some "candy related sayings". That helped move along the project, I then decided since there are 11 girls on the squad, I would get one piece of candy to represent each girl and we would make a list of "encouraging words" in a candy theme. (The words that we used, were found on various websites that are devoted to finding phrases that go along with candy names! Fun stuff!)

I put together this arrangement and I love how it turned out! It was EASY too! I found a basket, placed styrofoam in the bottom, took wooden skewers and hot glued the candy to each stick. Got some Easter basket grass and I did add the little flowers that can be used in a plant or outdoors too. I love using baskets as a gift because they can be used for many other things! I will also be collecting money from the parents on the squad and we will put some cash in the card to show our appreciation with a good old fashioned cash!

The sheet I printed to go along with it says:

2, 4, 6, 8...Who do we appreciate!

"You are a STAR coach" (Goes with Starburst)
"You've been SWEET" (Goes with Sweet tarts)
"Thank you for making lemonade out of LEMONS" (Goes with Lemon Heads, and this means a lot because this season was completely unorganized, without our coach, we would have fallen apart, but she dealt with all of the craziness like a pro and she really showed great dedication!)
"Many & Many thanks for all you did" (Goes with M&M's)
"We appreciate you BEARY much" (Goes with Gummy Bears)
"We wouldn't trade you for 100 Grand" (Goes with 100 Grand"
"Your coaching is RED HOT" (Goes with Red Hots)
"You are a LIFESAVER" (Goes with Lifesavers, and again relates to the crazy season!)
"Thank you for picking up the PIECES this season" (Goes with Reeses Pieces)
"Thank you for your EXTRA hard work" (Goes with Extra gum)
"You worked hard, so enJOY" (Goes with Almond Joy)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Soooo close

This winter was a mild one, so they say. Yes we still had 70 degree days in DECEMBER, however, once February hits, all winters feel the same, LONG, miserable, and worst of all GRAY! The amount of gray days in February in the midwest pretty much takes over the amount of sunshine we see all year. Yesterday and the day before, were FULL sun days and I couldn't help but wonder before that, when was the last time I saw the sun that bright. It was just what I needed. As I sit here typing this, it's gray again and we have a 7 day forecast of rain and cloud cover. But, it's MARCH. Do you know what that means? It means we are in the home stretch of winter and nearing the signs that spring is near! I looked out my window yesterday as the snow was steadily dripping away and I noticed the start of buds on the trees that will soon form those luscious green leaves of life that I love so much! The meltdown of winter is undesirable at best, mud, black dirty snow appears that's been hidden under the white blanket from the last snow fall. It's the like the transformation of a butterfly. The chrysalis is not pretty, but what emerges is worth the wait! I can't wait to see blooming flowers shoot up from the ground and the sun and the leaves and blossoming trees! Oh yes, we are sooooo close!

 Last week Hyacinths and tulips appeared in the stores! I had to pick up one of each to keep my house "cheerful" until the "real" flowers appear outside! When Miles was born, Al ordered a beautiful flower arrangement with Hyacinths in it, the smell of it reminds me so much of that precious time in our life :)

My kids and I have been home bound all week. Monday started out normal, then when Acilia came out of school at the end of the day with glassy eyes, I knew something was up. Later that night, a fever had emerged, and I knew we had on our hands a mini crisis, considering she has had perfect attendance so far this year. Tuesday was a freebie day. School was cancelled due to a "blizzard" (I use that term loosely considering I am one of those that believes the meteorologists are not God and they don't know how much snow will fall, they can only estimate and estimates are not always even close to accurate.) Acilia's school had called a snow day Monday night, in anticipation, so I couldn't help but giggle when we woke up Tuesday morning to NO SNOW. It hadn't started yet, however, the snow did start to fall mid morning and it fell and fell and fell until a measurable 7 inches in my yard. It was gorgeous. I knew deep down this would be our last snow fall, so I tried to enjoy it and push aside the fact that it's March and this is NOT spring weather! Tuesday played out and Acilia was still sporting a low grade fever, I knew Wednesday would be a sick day as well. So I called her in. I continued to call her in all week because her fever did not break until Thursday night. Which is precisely when MILES started in with a fever. Needless to say, it's been a low key week. It's been nice not to be slave to the alarm clock every morning and I am looking forward to another "break" in two weeks when spring break comes in and I am thinking, this low key week wasn't so bad!

Thursday we did venture out to play in the snow. I felt like we needed to really enjoy the snow while it lasts and soak in the sun that had appeared so gloriously in the sky!! The best form of vitamin D :) We have a little hill right across the street from our house, it's like our personal sledding hill :)

Her eyes are closed because clearly she is not used to having the sun in her eyes either! Ha ha ...but look a heart shaped snow ball :)

Franko even got to try the sled with me :)

Notice Miles eyes are closed too! Ha ha! I told you we aren't used to the sun :)

After being out for a little while, Acilia started to get tired. I told her to lay on the snow hill and close her eyes, to soak up the sun. *Almost* like laying on the grass on a summer day :)

I am calling it, this is the last time they will wear their snow clothes this winter!!
(That's me hopeful because both of them have a hole in their snow pants and I am hoping not to have to sew them!
HA !)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Chicken Florentine

Dinner tonight was great! So, I come here to share the recipe. I use the word "Recipe" loosely because I tend to find a recipe I like and then customize it. I like trying new ingredients together and that's why I find recipes helpful!

Olive oil
chicken breasts
lemon juice
fresh basil

Add olive oil to skillet, place chicken breasts in skillet. Season with lemon juice, salt and fresh basil. In the meantime, boil water and make some noodles, we made bow tie pasta. As the pasta cooks, and once the chicken is cooked through, add water and take a bag of spinach (stems removed) and place in the skillet. Add more lemon. Once the spinach wilts and the noodles are done, butter the noodles. Place the chicken and spinach on a bed of noodles and add some grape tomatoes and Parmesan cheese and serve!

The Rancic's

I open by saying I give Guiliana and Bill Rancic my utmost respect for a couple I've never met. I don't put too much faith into "Reality TV Couples" I learned my lesson with "Nick and Jessica", however, the Rancic's have been through a LOT and they have come through it seemingly stronger than ever.
Recently they've found themselves in hot water over the belief that a spouse comes before a child in the "hierarchy" of love. I don't quite understand why this is causing controversy? Perhaps I don't "get" it, but I do believe she is right on for making her husband first priority. There is no question they love that little cutie pie that they went through hell and high water to bring into this world, so why the uproar about putting her husband first? The divorce rates in this country are nothing to laugh at, perhaps our society should consider couples that are strong and learn something from them! There is a fool proof belief that if a spouse feels loved and a priority, the mutual respect and concern for one another goes a long way. I've been married 8 years and I am ashamed to admit it took about 6 of those years to come to the same conclusion! Not to mention, I am still struggling to really act on it! I will admit it's easier to love my kids (and my pets!!), but I *know* in my heart that I must put my husband and my marriage first and foremost. In doing that, we are working towards a strong family unit that I belief simply can not happen any other way.

I applaud Guiliana and Bill, I relate to their perspective and I find nothing wrong with her belief. That's just my opinion though! :) I've learned a lot, and I have a lot of learning left to go!

Sunday, March 3, 2013


Well, before I start in about the fun revelation story, I do have to say, we did it! We survived Miles 5th birthday! He had a great few days and when I get to downloading pictures from my camera, I will share about his day! :)

So, my revelations tend to come at unexpected times throughout the day. I usually have to send myself a note , so I don't forget to share! Afterall, I love the moments where God comes to me with clarity and I feel the least I can do is share it! The moments are much more powerful when it happens, talking about it after the fact, sometimes kind of takes away the punch, but rest assured, I think the message still gets across :)

Well, as you know, I've been heart aching over the fact that my kids are starting at a new school next year. I love the school we attend and I love that Christ is a part of every day teaching, it's really actually a way of life in this school. It's centered around Christ and I see a lot of great things come out of that. So the thought of that being gone next year as we embark on public school, it's been a bit of a thought process to adjust to. Here's the revelation, perhaps this is what we are meant to do. Acilia has had the Biblical teaching up until now, she's sponged up a lot of knowledge. Perhaps God is ready to use us to introduce someone that doesn't know Jesus to our Savior? That is one thing she will not get in a Christian school. All of the kids have been taught the same and have the same understanding of Christ. Public schools are open to all types including those that may not know Jesus at all! Acilia might have the blessing of being someone that gets to introduce someone to our Lord and Savior and that could be quite a neat experience! I am getting ahead of myself, but it's still exciting to think about :) Makes me consider the whole public school thing in a new light and it reminds me that this path is God's plan for us and it helps me to feel more at peace!