Thursday, June 5, 2008

Babies!

My brother's babies are here! They were born just shy of 34 weeks so they are just little peanuts. They are in NICU right not, but they both seem to be doing good. We hope they can go home in two weeks or less.


Baby M.; 5 lbs 2 oz.; 17 1/2 inches long.


Baby L; 4lbs 5.4oz; 17 inches long

Here is baby L compared to his Daddy's hand.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Play Ball

Pictures from Princess's T-Ball game this evening.

Here she is in the "ready position".


It is always more fun if you can race one of your teammates for the ball. It adds another level of competition.

Little Miss Attitude.
Grand Slam! Notice the helmet is so big she can't even see the ball.

Dance Recital Pictures

The princess had her first dance recital last weekend.

Here she is outside our house before dress rehearsal posing for the King. The purple crocks are a nice touch.



My friend Ali had to help out with the hair since I am not capable of making a bun that will stay in longer than 5 minutes. (yes Ali, I COULD have cut you out of the picture...)


The Makeup. Princess loved this part. She wouldn't let us wash the black eyeliner off her eyes for two days.


Lining up!
Can you see she has a future in dance?

Friends from her preschool class. Grandma and Grandpa gave her flowers for her brilliant performance.

The babies are coming!

Uncle C and his wife are in the hospital now having their twins!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Seperated at last!

For the past 1+ year the girls have been sleeping together in the same bed. At first I thought it was a good bonding time for them, but as the months passed, I realized it just gave them fuel to stay up and giggle and\or fight until they passed out from exhaustion.


Last weekend we got them separate twin beds (Happy Mother's Day to me). DQ got a purple comforter and Princess got a Pink one of course. They each picked out princess sheets for their new bed.



Notice how DQ's bed basically blends into the wall - we hope to repaint their room this summer.

So far it has been a success - the girls are going to sleep earlier and they are still excited about having their own beds with princess sheets.

Princess curly locks

Last night:


This morning:


After we took out all of the braids this morning she decided she didn't like the curly hair and wanted the braids back in :( It didn't happen obviously. By the time she got to school she liked her hair again.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tea Time at the Castle

Saturday we had a Mother's Day tea party. I have been trying to come up with some clever wording for this post (like write it in the tune of "I'm a Little Teapot"), but obviously the tea party sucked up all my creativity for the month. Anyway...here are some pictures.

We decorated our hats in true Victorian tea party style.


Here is DQ showing how cute she is (this is a rare picture of her - no snot, crazy hair, or tongue sticking out of her mouth):


The princess had to put a tiera on her at so she could be the princess of the tea party.
Yes I got all dressed up for the occasion....Thank god for the hat - my hair actually looked like a drowned rat from standing outside earlier that morning at the princess's softball game.
Such an elegant group...Grandma A, Grandma B and Auntie K all showed up for the party.

Our table was set with fine china and fresh tulips. The centerpiece was made by the girls earlier in the week. We dipped oreo cookies in white chocolates and decorated them to look like flowers (with gumdrops). They were not very tasty - gumdrops and oreos is not a good combination, but the girls were pretty proud of them.

DQ could hardly wait to eat. She really got into the tea party.

Our menu consisted of cucumber sandwiches, PB and Js shaped like crowns, Caesar salad, and flower shaped fruit cups for dessert. We had princess punch and tea for drinks. Notice the princess can't get enough of the princess punch. The bubbles from the punch caused some unscheduled entertainment at the tea party...maybe next time we will do the manners lesson BEFORE the party instead of during it.

Is this the princess or the joker? Maybe coating the rim of their glasses with pink sugar was not such a great idea....


We all had a great time. I hope to do it again next year for Mother's day!

A cup of tea to say thank you

For all the things you've done.

And wishes that the day will bring

You happiness and fun.

HAPPY MOTHER's DAY!!

Love the girls in the castle.



Thursday, May 1, 2008

We don't need fancy things

"Wow!" the princess exclaimed as she saw one of her friend's van magically open the door by itself. "Did you see that?"
I kind of giggled to myself and said "Yes, we don't have a fancy van like that, do we?"
"We don't need a fancy van mommy, we can open the door ourselves, can't we?"
"Yes that is true, we don't need a fancy van"
"Besides, our van is White Lightning"

I admit, I was totally shocked when she said that we don't need a fancy van. We live in a world full of consumerism and trying to beat the Jones'. Even though the princess loves her fancy dress up clothes and everything in her world is pink and sparkly, she still has her head on straight. I must be doing something right.

Hopefully in 5-10 years I can still write this same post.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

From the mouth of a princess

I picked up a few spring outfits for the princess yesterday since she has basically outgrown most of her clothes from last year (everything looks like a cropped top). On the way home last night she was going through the bag of clothes in the van looking at her new duds. This was her comment:

These are lovely mom. Thank you very much.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Warm weather = Skinned knees

It has finally started to feel like spring this week so the girls and I decided to take our first trip to the park. DQ got a new trike for Easter and has been dying to ride it somewhere else besides our driveway. We found the bike helmets and took off for the park - DQ on her shiny new trike and Princess on her bike. The ride to the park went pretty smooth. The park is at the top of a hill so I had push DQ up it a bit so she could reach the top.

When it was time to leave the girls strapped on their helmets and hopped on their bikes. Princess did a pretty good job controlling her bike down the hill, but DQ wiped out. She has an ailment where when she turns her head, she turns the bike also. Since she was already going at a rapid pace, making a sharp turn just wiped her out.

I ended up carrying her bike and a crying DQ down to the bottom of the hill. I then told her that I was not able to carry both her and her bike back home (thinking she would walk), but she got right back on her bike and rode the rest of the way home. There were several "my knee hurts" whines during the trip, but I was very proud of her for getting right back on.

Of course once we got home the real drama started. I had to carry her around the house because she couldn't walk with a skinned knee. I thought an Elmo band-aid would do the trick, but the whining continued... for 2 straight days.

She is finally better now and the skinned knee is just a red spot. I am sure this will not be the last owie of the season.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Starting to Panic

It is April 8th. Do you have your taxes completed? Most people probably have their refund back and spent by this point.

My taxes are not done. I have no idea if we are getting a refund or if we will have to pay. There is less than 10 days before the IRS deadline.

We decided to hire an accountant this year for taxes because the King is now self-employed and I don't feel qualified to do them anymore. I gave the accountant our 2007 info about a month ago and I have been waiting ever since. We haven't even heard a word from them. I am starting to get nervous - if I need to do them myself I need to get started ASAP.

I had the King stop by yesterday at the Accountant's office to check on the status. The door was locked. He called me and I started panicking. Did the close up? They have all my W2\tax info - How do I get that back? If I have to do our own taxes, I NEED TO START NOW!

I made him call their phone number and they said the door was locked because they are not taking any walk-ins at this point. They assured him that they will be completed and will give us a call by the end of the week. I realize they are probably very busy, but I still don't feel good about it. They should have been done by now.

Monday, March 31, 2008

"I didn't know..."

This morning the girls were doing their normal fighting while getting ready for school. Princess was not sharing the toothpaste and would not let DQ stand on the big stool. The King went in to find out what the fuss was about and asked Princess why she was not sharing. Her response?

Sorry, I didn't even know I had a sister!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Photo shoot time

We had the photo equipment out this weekend so we thought we might as well get some new pictures of the girls. Here is how DQ's photos turned out.



At first look, we thought this one was OK, however that is not oily skin under her nose. Gross.

The Fairy Tale

What do you want to be when you grow up? The dance teacher asked Princess.

The princess responded without a pause "Cinderella".

Wouldn't it be great to be 4 again and think life is a fairy tale? Your dad is the king. All headbands are crowns. And of course if you eat all your vegetables, you will become a real princess.

I am sure I should be directing her more towards careers like doctor, lawyer or techer, but what is the fun in that? At some point she will relize life is not a fairy tale. I am not going to be the one that breaks the news to her.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

What DQ wants...

DQ gets.

So this is how she went to school today.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Awesome Potato Skins

Here is the recipe for the potato skins I made Sunday afternoon. I found the recipe here.

Potato Skins
6 small to medium sized russet baking potatoes
Olive oil
Cooking Spray
salt
Freshly ground pepper
6 strips of bacon
4 ounces grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
2 green onions, thinly sliced, including the greens of the onions

1. Scrub the potatoes clean then bake the potatoes using your favorite method, either oven or microwave. If using an oven, rub with olive oil and bake in a 400°F oven for about an hour until the potatoes are cooked through and give a little when pressed. If using a microwave, rub all over with olive oil and cook on the high setting for about 5 minutes per potato. (obviously I should have microwaved mine...)

2. While the potatoes are cooking, cook the bacon strips in a frying pan on medium low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, or until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Let cool. Crumble.

3. Remove the potatoes from the oven and let cool enough to handle. Cut in half horizontally. Use a spoon to carefully scoop out the insides, reserving the scooped potatoes for another use, leaving about 1/4 of an inch of potato on the skin.

4. Increase the heat of the oven to 450°F. Spray cooking spray all over the potato skins, outside and in. Sprinkle with salt. Place on a baking rack in a roasting pan (don't use a cookie sheet, it will warp, use a roasting pan or broiler pan that can take the heat). Cook for 10 minutes on one side, then flip the skins over and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool enough to handle.


5. Arrange the potato skins skin-side down on the roasting pan or rack. Sprinkle the insides with freshly ground black pepper, cheddar cheese, and crumbled bacon. Return to the oven. Broil for an additional 2 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly. Remove from oven. Use tongs to place skins on a serving plate. Add a dollop of sour cream to each skin, sprinkle with green onions.

Serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6

More smoke

Sunday we decided to have our own little Super Bowl party and have junk food for dinner at the castle. I could really care less about the game, but I wanted the party snacks. The menu consisted of nachos, potato skins and whatever the girls wanted to eat.

I found a recipe for potato skins (I will post later - they were awesome!) and started to make them Sunday afternoon. The recipe stated to rub the potatoes with olive oil and bake in the oven for 1 hour. Obviously I was supposed to put the potatoes on a pan first, not just throw them in. The oil started dripping off the potatoes and the next thing I knew, the smoke detectors were going off.

Ugh. You would think I would learn...


Kitchen update:
The new kitchen cabinets are MOSTLY installed. We are using cardboard for a counter top, but that should be installed Wednesday. Once the counters are in we can get the dishwasher and sink installed. I can't wait to stop doing all our dishes by hand!
We had a small problem with measurements when buiding one of the new walls. Now we have to move a load bearing wall to fit the final cabinet and refridgerator in. They keep reassuring me it can be done, but it makes me a little nervous.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Kitchen Tip Tuesday

Pack your lunch as you clean the table.

The King and I both bring a lunch to work every day. 90% of the time our lunches consist of leftovers. I used to just dish out my lunch in the morning, but now I am finding I don't have time to do this with the normal morning chaos. On top of that the king refuses to dish out his own lunch in the morning. Apparently it is more important to him to watch 30 minutes of golf tv at 6 a.m. than it is to pack a lunch. I used to have the attitude that if he didn't want to make the effort to pack his own lunch then he can starve. However this theory went out the window when I ended up throwing leftovers in the trash because they were never eaten.

Now I pack lunches as I clear the table after dinner. Everything is portioned into individual servings. I also portion out any sides or extras like buns, chips and cut up vegetables. Each "meal" is stacked neatly in the fridge (I even include the stuff that doesn't need refrigeration so everything is in one spot) so all we have to do is grab a stack and go.

Another lunch tip: When making a big batch of soup\chili, freeze the leftovers in individual servings. They will last in the freezer for a long time and are perfect for the days there are no other leftovers in the fridge.

Check out more tips at Kitchen Tip Tuesday!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Using what I have for dinner...

I have been on a mission the past few weeks to use the food I have at the house and not waste anything. I am trying to shave some $$$ from my grocery budget and this should be the easiest way - quit throwing money in the garbage!

This past weekend I was pretty successful:

French Bread
Thursday I purchased a loaf of french bread at the grocery store to top our French Onion soup. Yes, I could have made the bread a lot cheaper, but I am still not set up to do a lot of baking yet (or to make a huge mess in the kitchen). Friday night I used the bread again for French Bread Pizzas.
Saturday there was still bread left (and very dry) so I cubed it up and made a breakfast casserole for Sunday morning. I was able to also use the leftover green peppers and mushrooms from pizza toppings also. It wasn't a huge casserole, but it was perfect for the king and I. An added bonus: I used up the eggs in my fridge.

Whipped Topping & Milk
I had a container of whipped topping in my fridge. I remember purchasing it two weeks ago, but I don't remember why. We only used a few spoonfuls of it at the time. I also ended up with 3 gallons of milk in my fridge this week - and one of them is approaching the expiration date. I found a box of pudding mix and made "Candy Bar Pudding". Vanilla pudding, whipped topping, heath bar pieces (left over from my holiday baking inventory that never happened) and chopped up chocolate chips. The girls thought I was a culinary genius.

Chipotle peppers
I love these things, but since I normally only use 1-2 peppers per recipe, the rest of the can usually goes to waste. I originally opened the can for Black Bean Soup that I made the weekend before. Saturday I made a crock pot full of baked beans and added a big pepper and some adobe sauce to the mixture (Bonus: I also threw in some leftover chicken meat to the beans). Sunday I made White Chicken Chili and added two peppers to that also. I still have two peppers left in the fridge so I am trying to figure out what I can add them to. This may be a bit of a challenge since most of our meals this week are not really spicy. (Chipotle spaghetti anyone?)

Here are my plans the next few days to use what I have:

I have a little bit of french onion soup left and no bread. I am going to pull out the onions and fry them up and use them as a topping on my French Dip sandwiches on Tuesday.

With the leftover roast from our French Dip sandwiches I am going make a casserole with beef, barley and any other vegetable I can find.