Monday, September 29, 2008


Special thanks to Khristie for this lovely (grrr...) opportunity!
(I will not be tagging anyone with this piece of work - who thought up this thing anyway? they should be ashamed of themselves!)

Here are the rules for this tag: grab your camera & take pictures of the following WITHOUT cleaning up!

Oh this is just an embarrassment! We were right in the middle of Joy School, the dishes needed to be unloaded from the dishwasher and it is Monday morning for heaven's sake. Excuses excuses, I know, but there they are none the less. That hand soap is my favorite Bath and Body Works fragrance - Wild Honeysuckle mmmm.... Thomas thinks it smells like my grandma, but I don't care - I'm the one washing my hands 50+ times a day and a little smell-good does wonders for the mama's psyche. (Anyone know what that red handled crank contraption is???)

Here is the most used pot in the house. The downstairs powder room. It actually looks pretty good here - someone even shut the lid when they were done!

Thank heaven's it's not big enough to be a huge mess. Yes, it's laundry day. Time to go start a load...

Notice Jeremy's Fat Free milk in the door and Jennifer's 1% on the bottom shelf. And the boy's lunches already made for school tomorrow - that's the best!

Playing outside.

No surprise here... Dansko sandals! These babies may not be the cutest, but they sure are the most comfy shoes I'll ever wear. Obviously they are well loved, scuffed and worn sooo many times.

Here's the family room where we spend so much of our time together. We just recently repainted and purchased that cute new chair, sectional and window treatments. Those bamboo blinds are my favorite!

Now I want to know how I'm supposed to take a picture of this??? I've never been there, but have always wanted to go to Hawaii. Laying on a tropical beach with a book for several days sounds like heaven. And I've always wanted to visit the Polynesian Cultural Center...

I like to keep my shirts in rainbow order. It makes me happy.

Nice one.

There you go. Hope your sink looks better than mine. Happy day to all!

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Mr. Jackson LOVES mommies silkies. He just can't get enough of them. He snuggles them, he cuddles them, he pets them, he sleeps, eats, plays with them. And today... HE WEARS THEM.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"Jackson has new shoes..."

"pretty blue and white and silver new shoes.
Jackson has new shoes on today!
See them walk.
Hear them talk.
Jackson run along and play!"

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Say Hello to....


We went to the pet store for FHE tonight and Trevor got to pick out a turtle for his new tank. Trevor was soooo excited that he couldn't sleep.

"Do turtles sleep underwater? Will he get cold at night? He's not eating his food - will he be hungry? Does he miss his mom and dad? He keeps messing up the decorations - what do we do? When I play with him do I wash my hands right after? Do I turn off the light now? Do I turn it on again in the morning? How much do I feed him? Will you lock the door so Jackson won't hurt him? What if he has babies? Can we sell them?"

The rest of the celebrations

Trevor woke up to a delicious cinnamon roll breakfast on the morn of his special day.

There was one big gift...

A turtle tank! (He'd been begging for this thing for at least a month.)

Later that evening we had a Duran Family get-together where he was showered with even more gifts. (The video gaming has not stopped since ya'll left.) We were only missing Uncle Samuel and Gramma Boggs - we missed you guys!

Monday afternoon Lizzie, Jackson and I brought in donuts to Trevor's class for a special birthday treat. There are almost 40 kids in there! We brought 4 dozen assorted donuts and 2 gallons of milk. They almost wiped it all out - those kids love milk!

It was a great weekend of parties, fun, and family time. Thanks for making his 9th birthday one to remember!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Trev's Laser Quest Party

It was a zappin' good time. None of these boys had ever been to play laser tag before. It was fun to watch their expressions as we entered the dark, fog, black lit, music pumping arena. They all got into it right away. We did not do so well on account of a group of 20 something-year-old boys. They slaughtered us! But it sure was fun while it lasted.
Here we are just minutes before our session began
Do they look excited or what!?

Trevor requested Me 'N' Eds Pizza for lunch (YES! MY FAVORITE!). Trevor's favorite kind of pizza is pepperoni and pineapple. Delicious! And the boys were in heaven as they downed 2 family size pizzas, soda, cake and ice cream.

Hot-Air is so lovely

Here's what we woke up to this morning. Right out our back window!

"LAND IN OUR POOL! LAND IN OUR POOL! LAND IN OUR POOL!" The neighbors loved us this morning...

NEW Recipes Update

So we tried all the recipes this week that I typed up in this post. The fam was very supportive and tried them all.* Their favorite was the pizza popper things. (They were not salty enough for me so next time I'll add a little salt and orgeano instead of the parsley.) The eggplant parmigiana turned out good, but only Jeremy said good things about it. And the Heather's Thai Peanut Sauce was sooo yummy, but the kids wouldn't touch it! Agh! Why do they have to be such picky eaters?

*Sorry, no pictures! I should have documented them all taking their first bites, but didn't think of it until now. Sheesh!

Friday, September 19, 2008

All in a day's work

So today I had an experience that every mother has. I had utter chaos for about 10 minutes. Here's the play by play...

1. While teaching a piano lesson...
2. Student needs to leave asap to get his mom to a doctor's appointment. (Extra pressure there to be punctual with lesson time.)
3. One of my children has an accident (#2!) in the downstairs bathroom.
4. Child tries to "clean up" mess and gets it ALL OVER THE PLACE
5. Logan is trying to get me to read him his homework assignment
6. Another child needs help with the Wii equipment
7. Trevor is not finishing his homework and needs constant reminding
8. Dinner was impending - I tried a new recipe tonight
9. My lesson plan for church was not ready
10. I'm sure there was something else, but I can't think of it at the moment

All I have to say is THANK HEAVENS Jackson was napping! That would have been a-whole-nother ball game.

It was the poop mess that put me over the edge. I find it very difficult when so many kids need my attention. I feel like telling them to make a line and I'll get to you when I get to you! Most of it was my own mental battles I understand that, but how do you cope? Does anyone else have moments like this?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Jackson, Jackson, Jackson...

Jackson was up to his same 2-year-old shenanigans yesterday...

1. He decided it would be super fun to swing a real baseball bat at whatever/whoever crossed his path. He was finally stopped when he hit the window (it did not break, thank Heavens!) and scared the ladies sitting in my family room.

2. Jackson loves to play with the keys. He pushes a chair up to the counter and helps himself to all our important keys - car keys, house keys, pool keys, gate keys - yes, keys we use and need! He thought it would be fun to play car keys. So he got the appropriate keys for the van and truck (How does he know which is which? I don't know - he's just a smart little cookie I guess.) I heard what he was doing and figured I'd rescue the keys in a few minutes and let him have his fun for the time being. When he came back in there was only one set of keys. Uh-oh.
"Jackson where are the truck keys?" I asked.
"In - nere," he replies.
"In there?" I ask.
"In - nere," he confirms.
We walk out to the truck and he points to the grill on the front of the car, "In - nere." Good gracious! How was I supposed to retrieve a key he stuck into the front of the car?! And how was I to be sure the key was actually in there? Was he was telling the truth? Well, I popped the hood (Jeremy was shocked that I knew how to do this. Thanks for your confidence sweetie.) and peered down towards the bottom. Ha! there is was! It was too far down in a space too tight for my arm to squeak through. I remembered that Jeremy has this cool extendable magnet stick thing and that's what we used to get the key out.

I was totally proud of myself for the genius solution I came up with for retrieving the key. Now I just need a genius place to store the keys so it doesn't happen again!

Kids say the darndest things #2

We're sitting at the dinner table eating breakfast burritos...

Logan: Lizzie will you please get me some water?
Lizzie: Sure!
Trevor gawks at this scene and says, "How did you get her to do that?"
Logan: Oh, she's my slave.
Lizzie: Yeah, I'm his slave.

I thought I was watching a Malcom rerun... it was almost word for word from an episode we'd watched a few days before.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ward Fam September Bday Party

Sunday night we celebrated the Ward family September Birthdays. Grampa turned 80, Gram turned 78 (hope that's right!), Robb will be 40?, Sam will be 7, and Trevor turns 9 on Sunday. Look at all these happy birthday kids...

Trevor was stoked to find out only a few minutes before that we were having a party for him too! He sheepishly asked, "Will there be presents?"

Take a look at that expression - was he excited or what!?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Club Penguin

This website, hosted by Disney, is IT at our house these days. Trevor, Logan and Lizzie all have their own account and penguin. They spend a lot of time (almost every day) on the computer chatting, playing games and collecting items for their penguin characters. Parents, do not fear, this is a very safe environment for kids to stop by and have a little fun. No personal information is allowed to be shared and if you do you will be removed from the system. So, yes, it is SAFE.

They love to run next door and tell their cousins to log on and then run home to chat online with them.

Does anyone else

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Big Eight-Zero

Today is Grandpa Burton's 80th birthday. Happy Birthday Grandpa! We love you and wish you all the best on your special day.

It will be a week of many firsts...

So this week at recipe exchange Karen did a demonstration on Eggplant Parmesan. I've always loved this vegetable - from afar. It is big. It is PURPLE. And my mom never cooked it when we were growing up. So this veggie is very foreign to me.

When we went to NY earlier this year I thought I'd get a little crazy and order food I've never eaten before. I ordered Eggplant Parmesan in one of the restaurants we ate at. It was ok. But this recipe that Karen made last week was WAY better than the one in NY. It was probably all her fresh veggies in the homemade sauce that made it taste so good.

Here is a picture of my first ever eggplant purchase. Isn't it the most beautiful vegetable you've ever seen?! It really is the most beautiful/exotic one out there. This should be Aimee's favorite food - it's the same color as her family room!

I am afraid no more. I am STOKED to try this recipe. It will be delicious!

Eggplant Parmigiana
Better Homes and Gardens

1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices
1/2 eggs beaten
1/4 c. cooking oil
1/3 c. parmesan cheese
homemade tomato sauce or one jar of Italian red sauce
6 oz. sliced mozzarella cheese

Combine flour and 1/2 tsp. salt. Dip eggplant into egg then flour. Brown eggplant in hot oil about 3 minutes per side, adding additional oil as needed. Drain well on paper towels. Place half of eggplant in a single layer in a 10x6x2 pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 parmesan. Top with 1/2 sauce and mozzarella. Repeat layers. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until hot.

Serves 6

Homemade Tomato Sauce
1 Tbl. oil
1/3 c. chopped onion
1/4 c. chopped celery
1 clove minced garlic
16. oz. can diced tomatoes
1/3 c. tomato paste
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. pepper

1. Heat oil to medium heat. Add onion, celery, garlic and cook until tender.

2. Stir in remaining ingredients. Simmer gently uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, to desired consistency.

So that is new recipe #1 for this week.

New recipe #2 will be Heather's Thai Peanut Sauce. It has some crazy ingredients, but it looks soooo tasty.

Heather’s Thai peanut sauce

½ cup peanut oil
½ cup peanuts
1 slice fresh ginger ½ inch thick
2 garlic cloves
1 can sweet condensed milk
2 Tbs soy sauce
4 tsp fish sauce
1 Tbs fresh lime juice
½ cup chopped cilantro leaves

1.Heat the peanut oil to nearly smoking in a sauce pan. Turn off the heat and add the peanuts. The peanuts should cook to a golden brown 2-4 minutes. If you burn them, throw them out and start all over again or your sauce will be bitter. You may have to turn on the heat again, but stir the peanuts if you do.

2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the peanuts to the blender or food processor. Along with 1 Tbs of the peanut oil and bend them to a rough paste. Add all the remaining ingredients except the cilantro and blend until smooth. If it is too thick add more oil. Stir in cilantro and serve

*** This sauce is amazing. You can serve it as a dipping sauce. It is great on chicken, shrimp, pork, and even tofu steaks. It is also a great base sauce for a Thai pizza too. You can freeze what you don’t use for next time.

New recipe #3 will be Italian Pepperoni-Cheese Puffs. I am least worried about this dish - which is not actually a dish - it is basically biscuits with pepperoni inside. But it is new none-the-less! I think the kids will dig it. Especially because they can dip them in pizza sauce. They love to dip. And Mr. Jackson's favorite food these days is PIZZA. I'm trying to see how many different ways I can disguise pizza and get him to try different things - even though they all taste like pizza.

Italian Pepperoni-Cheese Puffs
Better Homes and Gardens

1 ¼ C. water
1/3 c. shortening
1 ½ c. flour
4 eggs
¾ c. finely chopped pepperoni (3 oz.)
¾ c. finely shredded parmesan cheese (3 oz.)
2 Tbs. Snipped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/8 t. garlic powder
1/8 t. pepper

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly grease 2 large baking sheets; set aside. In a large saucepan combine water and shortening. Bring to boiling. Add flour all at once, stirring vigorously. Cook and stir until mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat. Cool for 10 minutes.

2. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well with a wooden spoon after each addition. Stir in pepperoni, cheese, parsley, garlic powder and black pepper.

3. Drop rounded teaspoons of dough 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets. Position the 2 baking sheets on separate oven racks. Bake for 15 – 17 minutes or until firm and golden brown, switching oven racks halfway through baking. Transfer to a wire rack. Repeat, as needed, for remaining dough. Serve warm. If desired serve with pizza sauce.

Makes about 40 puffs.

Who wants to try these new recipes with me? Let's be crazy together and try something new this week!