Tuesday, April 22, 2014

3 Things

It's been a day!  

We made it home from Aaron's parents' house well and had a great weekend!

I have lots of cutie pie pictures to share but not a ton of time, so I'll just quickly share 3 things.

Thing 1:

This is the construction on the way into our little neighborhood.

That is a really, really big hole!

Thing 2:

It was like a lightning strike.  Aaron took this picture of me and the girls, and this was the first and only picture he took.

Pretty much a miracle :)  And, I like how Maggie really wanted to have Minnie Mouse in the picture...

Thing 3:

We sang this song at church on Easter and I love love double loved it!

Have a great day!

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Journey

I enjoy a good running diary.

Not to be confused with a diary of running, as I don’t participate in those :)  The whole running thing puts a damper on that.

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to chronicle/keep a running diary of our drive to Aaron’s parents’ house.  

I considered calling it “Tour de Bathrooms” or something equally silly, becuase, let’s face it, that’s what a roadtrip with kids can become.

Except, the girls did awesome!  They went to the bathroom once on our 4 hour and 13 minute drive.

So, I guess this is more of a chronicle of the ups and downs of our trip!  Enjoy :)

Friday started out interestingly enough, with the minivan getting literally stuck in the road construction when Gracie and I were taking Leah to school.  I’d read on the city website that I should have been able to get through a certain way, but I couldn’t due to large machinery digging large holes.  

I went a different way and got stuck in the mud/bottomed out in the mud/road.  


Some really nice construction guys came to help me. I genuinely never got the impression that they swearing at me under their breath or anything.

We were looking at the situation and trying to figure out the best way to get me unstuck.

Did I mention that I was wearing my pajamas (and winter coat)?

Because I was :)

They ended up pulling me out with a backhoe/escavator/bulldozer/digger thing.

Leah was late for school, which she is usually not okay with, but she handled it remarkably well!  

I figured the day could only get better from there, and it did!

We were able to be all packed by the time we needed to pick up Leah and Maggie from school.

So, we piled them all in

and hit the road at 3:23.

The girls did a great job looking out the window and talking about their school days.

For 10 minutes.

Then, they wanted to watch something.

We don’t have a DVD player built in the minivan, but we do let the girls watch a DVD on my laptop.  The battery doesn’t last forever (a couple of hours or so), so we have to use it strategically.  

They were going to have to wait 27 agonizing minutes until 4:00, at which point we would be joined by Veggie Tales and Max and Ruby.

Maggie proceeded to ask, “How many more minutes?”  about every 90 seconds.

“23 more minutes,” I counted down.

“Is that long or short,” Maggie would ask.

“LONG!” Leah emphatically informed her.

Yeah, so there was that.

Until, at 3:48, I realized that we could listen to music.


We had recently taken The Sound of Music Live! soundtrack off of hiatus, so the girls were happily distracted by singing their parts to the songs.

They even wanted to finish listening to High on a Hill was a Lonely Goat instead of watching a DVD at exactly 4:00.

They waited until 4:02.

They’re really maturing...right before my very eyes :)

We rode happily until 5:20, when Aaron and I decided we should stop for a bathroom break and to get supper out.

Were they ever excited to visit Burger King!

Don't worry, I kept Gracie from playing in the ashtray/garbage can

We were super efficient due to their being 3 stalls.

They even had the blower hand dryer, which Gracie really enjoyed :)

Yeah, that's me in the mirror

Who needs the playland when you can swing on a bar?

We headed back to the minivan and I got out the JImmy John’s I’d bought before we left!

I’ve found that the girls do better eating Jimmy John’s in the car than they do eating chicken nuggets from McDonalds.  There isn’t any dipping sauce to spill or happy meal toy to fight over.

On a side note, I feel like McDonalds employees should be trained to give out the same toy in each happy meal in a single order.  Maybe that’s just me, though.

Anyway, Leah was so happy with her meal (which I’d rounded out with apples, pringles, a little brownie, and a juice box)

that she expressed her appreciation by rewarding me with the sticker from her Jimmy John’s wrapper!

And we were on the road!

A 9 minute stop!  That has to be some kind of record.

But, then, the computer battery ran out. At...

Things got interesting.

Leah found some sticky glue residue and started decoarating her face.

She told me I could put these on here :)

We looked out the window at ridges.

Maggie started crying because she dropped her doll.

We looked out the window at streams that had over flowed with water.

Gracie started laughing because she made Maggie cry by poking her with her foot (Help me, Jesus!).

They were starting to turn on us!

But, then, about 20 minutes from our destination, we stopped here.

My favorite Caribou ever!

I mean, look at the inside of this place!

I ran in (by myself) for drink/mommy fuel to make it the rest of the way.

Aaron drove on as the girls may or may not have been starting to emotionally fall apart.

Ahhhhhh, yes, we made it!

In 4 hours and 13 minutes.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter Thoughts

Jesus didn't come to earth, die on the cross, and be resurrected so that I could make chocolate marshmallow eggs.

Although, they are quite tasty and I like the snap of biting through the chocolate into the soft marshmallow :)

Jesus didn't come to earth, die on the cross, and be resurrected so that we could dye Easter eggs.

Easter dying pictures from last year are HERE

...which is a good thing.  I wouldn't say that dying Easter eggs is my favorite holiday tradition.  Someone's always spilling or crying because they cracked their egg.  Sheesh!

Why did Jesus die?

God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:21

I'm so thankful that He did.

Who is Jesus?

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life.  Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live."

And, I am so thankful that He is.

I'm grateful that we get to celebrate the hope we have in Jesus in an extra special way this weekend!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Project 365: #15 and a Guest Post

I'm posting this 1 day earlier than usual, because we are leaving for Aaron's parents' house on Thursday right after school!

But, before we get to the next installment of Project 365, hop on over to my internet friend Kristi's blog And Babies Don't Keep to read my guest post about what it's like to have 3 daughters.

Here's a little tease :)  

I feel like I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that three can, indeed, be a crowd at times.  I knew from my days of working at camp that odd numbers of girls can be problematic; it’s so easy for someone to be left out.  I solve that problem by... (continue)

Day 101:

Leah has inexplicably started eating salad...very specifically, romaine lettuce with carrots and ranch.  I have no idea why, but I don't need to know!  I'll take it!

Day 102:

Some of our friends had an Easter egg hunt!  We got there a little late, so the girls didn't find any eggs.  The did find these cool stumps to adorably stand on, though!  And, yes, they are all wearing denim jumpers.  I'm totally not the matchy match mom, but sometimes the girls decide to coordinate :)

Day 103:

The girls decided that Sunday was fancy dress day!  So, Leah and Gracie wore their Christmas dresses and Maggie wore her flower girl dress.  Gracie was on board with the fancy dress thing, but not so much with the picture...as you can tell from the background :)

Day 104:

Leah and Gracie have a case of the Mondays.  Particularly a case of the Snow-on-April-14th-walk-through-a-field-to-get-to-the-minivan-because-of-road-construction Mondays.

Day 105:

Maggie had been asking and asking for me to make this cake!  I finally remembered and made it for our small group supper.  Chocolate Peppermint Mousse Cake!  It was a winner :)

Day 106:

Aaron and Gracie were taking a little dance break at supper.  I love their happy smiles...that girl's got spirit!  They're an awesome little team :)

Have a happy Thursday!

How I Get My Kids to Eat SOME Vegetables

OK, OK...stop laughing.  

Yes, I'm writing about this...

So, here's what I'm not saying:

I'm not saying the girls like to try new foods.

Although, Gracie is more adventurous than her sisters!

I'm not saying that they eat all of the vegetables in the world.

I'm not saying they aren't picky, because Maggie is pretty picky.  

I mean, she doesn't like watermelon.

Who doesn't like watermelon?

To be fair, though, she would gladly eat her body weight in cucumbers :)

BUT, they gobble up their veggies when I do this:

While I'm making supper, sometimes I set out a plate of carrot sticks, cucumber slices, and "sweet dippin' sticks."  

Sweet Dippin' Sticks is my fancy way of saying bell peppers; it just sounds more exciting :)

They all gobble these veggies right up before supper, and I don't stress about what veggies they eat at the meal, even though they do eat some at supper, too!

Give it a try!  I think you'll be amazed at how many vegetables your kids eat when they have a case of the munchies :)

Do you have any tips for getting your kids to eat veggies?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Easy Supper: Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps

I really easy-ed up one of the meals that was on my April menu, so I thought I would let you in on my helpful tips :)

I made the Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps from Mel's Kitchen Cafe, and Aaron and I loved them!

Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps

I did make the flatbread (it's really awesome...chewy and delicious), but you could very easily pick something up at the store like this:

Anyway, you are basically making a Chicken Caesar Salad and wrapping it up!

Oh, if you want to skip the pictures and commentary, you can hop down to the end where I have the recipe all typed up!

I put some bite sized pieces of romaine into a bowl

and topped it with bite sized pieces of chicken.

For the chicken, you can grill it or slow cook it or pull it off of a rotisserie chicken or you could even use canned chicken.

I had left over roast chicken in the freezer, so I used that.

Top your lettuce and chicken with dressing.

I use Ken's Steak House dressing.  I don't know who this Ken is or the location of his steak house, but he makes some great salad dressing :)

Toss it together.

Top it with parmesan.

I use the kind you grate, but you can totally use the kind in a can...also known as "sprinkle cheese" at my house.

And toss it again!

Grab some flatbread,

fill it with salad and fold it up taco style :)

I served it with an easy fruit salad of strawberries and mandarin oranges.  I had green beans, too, but everyone else had jello.

Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps

This is a nice base recipe, too!  You could easily switch it up and do romaine, chicken, bacon, cheese, and ranch.  You could make it southwest style and do romaine, chicken, black beans, corn, red bell peppers and a cilantro-y dressing.  The options are endless.  

Plus, I think these would be perfect for summer!  It's an easy meal to make without having to heat up your kitchen.

Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps
Romaine Lettuce
Cooked Chicken
Caesar Dressing
Parmesan Cheese

Cut lettuce and chicken into bite sized pieces.  Place in a bowl.  Top with dressing, and toss to combine.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and toss to combine.  Put on flatbread, fold, and enjoy!

Have a great day!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Back in the Day

I've started going through a pile of boxes filled with randomness in the basement.

It's interesting, and I'm proud of myself for all of the things I'm tossing!

But, I came across something that is TOTALLY a keeper!

Yep, that's a first generation Strawberry Shortcake doll (the Apricot one)!  I remember playing with her in the wooden cradle with the lacy pillow and the vintage-y red quilt!  I think that her plastic bunny sidekick is around here somewhere...quite possibly in the bottom of the toy box!

I wasn't much of a doll kid...I liked puzzles and books and playing school and bossing people around, but I loved this doll!

Gracie loves her, too, enough to take her to her room...

...and welcome her to the bed community :)

I feel like the spot right by the Care Bear is a good one.

Funshine Bear has his/her eye on you ;)

Gracie even managed to sleep in spite of her excitement!

Maggie gets the doll in her bed next.  We might need to develop some sort of sign up sheet :)

Have a great start to your week!