Friday, May 31, 2013

June Menu

Remember those chicken marinades I told you about?  

Yep!  They're here...on your friendly, local monthly menu!



Saturday, June 1  Egg McMuffins  Chicken Fingers (didn't make it last month)
Sunday, June 2  Sandwiches  SCS

Monday, June 3  Pulled Pork (from freezer)
Tuesday, June 4  Lasagna Rolls
Wednesday, June 5  Hot Dogs
Thursday, June 6  Pizza Bites
Friday, June 7  Rehearsal Dinner
Saturday, June 8  The Sandwich  Reception
Sunday, June 9  Maple Sweet Potato Hash for church  Sandwiches  SCS

Monday, June 10  Yummy Honey Chicken Kabobs
Tuesday, June 11  Date Night
Wednesday, June 12  Portillo's Chopped Salad
Thursday, June 13  Hamburgers
Friday, June 14  Pizza
Saturday, June 15  Breakfast Bowls  Barbecued Chicken
Sunday, June 16  Sandwiches  SCS

Monday, June 17  Asian Honey Sesame Chicken
Tuesday, June 18  Date Night
Wednesday, June 19  Italian Chopped Salad
Thursday, June 20Easiest Fish Tacos
Friday, June 21  Pizza
Saturday, June 22  Baked Oatmeal  Rice and Beef Casserole
Sunday, June 23  Sandwiches  SCS

Monday, June 24  Lemon Garlic Chicken Kabobs
Tuesday, June 25  Hamburgers
Wednesday, June 26  Garlic Alfredo Sauce
Thursday, June 27  Spaghetti Pie
Friday, June 28  Pizza (Becky gone for supper)
Saturday, June 29  Pancakes  Mediterranean Chicken
Sunday, June 30  Out of Town

I hope you find something to try out!

Have a happy weekend!




I'm linking up at 5 Days 5 Ways!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Views out my Windows...

I've seen some pretty great stuff out my window lately!

For starters there was a deer sitting in our yard earlier this week!


Oh, hello, deer. 


Naturally, I sat at the kitchen table watching her, because I wanted to see her stand up and run off.  

Also, naturally, she ran off while I was engaging in some behavior management conversations, because the girls were fussing at each other.

Oh, well.  You win some, you lose some.

I love summer in our yard!  We have a ton of trees and front yard is well shaded in the morning.


If you were a little kid, wouldn't you just love to hang out there?

The girls sure enjoyed playing out there with my dad!


My parents and Aaron's parents came this week for Leah's school concert, and Aaron's parents brought each girl her own hanging flower pot!


The girls love them and they make the deck so pretty and cheerful!

And last but certainly not least...


The box elder bugs have the audacity to, um, procreate on our window.  

We have small children and prefer to keep things rated G around here...

...sheesh!

So, yeah, there's that.

Anyway, I hope you are enjoying your view today...whatever it may be :)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Corn on the Cob Time

Snapping a picture



of a cute little girl



sinking her teeth



into a warm,



buttery ear of corn



is much harder



than you'd think!



But, it's very exciting when you do!



And totally worth the effort <3



Hope your day is full of cute, summer sweetness!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Chicken Marinades for the Freezer

It's no secret that I love Aldi.

But, how do I know that Aldi loves me back?

They have chicken breasts for $1.69, that's how!

Aldi has a weekly meat special, and every 6 weeks or so, they have chicken breasts.  


I stock up!

This time, though, instead of just preparing the chicken, I thought I would be smart and freeze the chicken in marinade.  That way I'm a step ahead when it comes to preparing that meal.

I didn't want to make any special shopping trips to get ingredients, so all of the marinades are made with ingredients I had on hand.

Behold, I bring to you...


Just so you know, I cut the random yucky-ness off of the chicken and then cut it into portion sizes or kabob chunks.  I pour the marinade ingredients into a freezer ziplock bag that I've placed in a mug.  It's good to label the bag before you put the ingredients in it.


I shake the bag a little to combine the ingredients before adding the chicken.  Squeeze out as much air as possible and zip her up.  Lay flat to freeze.

First up, we have Yummy Honey Chicken Kabobs adapted from allrecipes.com.


1/4 cup canola oil, 1/3 cup honey, 1/3 cup soy sauce, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 2 cloves of garlic, minced

To prepare: pull the bag out of the freezer the night before you want to eat it and thaw in the fridge.  Put the chicken on a stick and grill over medium high until cooked through.  You could do this with chicken breast not kabobs, but I personally think food is exponentially more fun on a stick.

Next up:  Asian Honey Sesame Chicken adapted from momonamission.me.


1/4 cup soy sauce, 1 tablespoon canola oil, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 1 and 1/2 tablespoons honey, 1 garlic clove, minced, and 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

To prepare: pull the bag out of the freezer the night before you want to eat it and thaw in the fridge.  Put the chicken on a stick and grill over medium high until cooked through.  You could do this with chicken breast not kabobs if you want to ignore the fact that food on a stick is AWESOME!

This is the only 1 of the 4 recipes that I haven't made yet, but the ingredients make sense and I think it looks great.

Announcing:  Mediterranean Chicken adapted from dinnertablemusings.blogspot.com.


1/2 cup red wine vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper

To prepare: pull the bag out of the freezer the night before you want to eat it and thaw in the fridge.  Grill the chicken over medium until cooked through.  

Note:  this is just a portion of a really delicious recipe that can actually be made in an oven.  I really enjoy the flavor of the marinade and think the chicken is great grilled by itself.  But, it is certainly worth clicking on the link above which will take you to the whole recipe on my friend, Kelly's, blog.  She hasn't updated it in a long time, but peruse her recipes; she's a great cook!

And batting clean up:  Lemon Garlic Chicken Kabobs adapted from annies-eats.com.


3 tablespoons olive oil, zest of 1 lemon, 3 cloves of garlic, minced, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper

To prepare: pull the bag out of the freezer the night before you want to eat it and thaw in the fridge.  Put the chicken on a stick and grill over medium until cooked through.  You could do this with chicken breast not kabobs, but you know the old saying, "Food on a stick makes you smarter and cooler."  

Or something like that :)

You can bet that all of these recipes will be coming to a June menu near you!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Get Yo' Frizz On (aka Date Night Recap: Frisbee Golf)

I just reread the title to this and I hope that "get yo' frizz on" isn't slang for getting drunk or something else bad.

It's a play on words, because the girls use "frizz" as a verb for throwing the frisbee.  They say, "Let's frizz the frisbee!" which I think is hilarious and adorable.

Aaaanyway, we went out to eat at the classiest place in town.



Quiznos!  Always delicious, always slower than dirt.  Once again, they didn't disappoint on either front.  

After that it was time to get our frizz on.

Frisbee golf was really, really fun!  It's a great way to be outside and enjoy the evening.

Now, here's the thing, as I've mentioned before, Aaron is sporty.  Frisbee is no exception.  Frisbee is also not the exception to the rule of my non-sportiness.

So, I decided to go ahead and make my own par.

Becky Par, if you will.

I decided that even though the par was 3 on 8 of the holes and 4 on 1 of them, my personal Becky par would be 6 for each.

You know, the lower you set the bar, the easier it is to meet your goal :)

Aaron once again humored me and posed for a walking-on-the-frisbee-golf-field picture.



Is it a field?  A court?  A course?  A rink?  I'm going with field.

It was beautiful and the weather was perfect!



The company was even better!



You'll be glad to know that I came in under par...



...and Aaron did typically awesome for his first time out.

This week, date night will be spent at Leah's 1st grade concert!  My parents and Aaron's parents are coming into town for it, so it's date night:  family edition.

Or, we'll just skip date night.  

Either way, it'll be great!

Friday, May 24, 2013

This and That

This is my 100th post!

Can you believe it?

I'm not the queen of self discipline, so this is kind of a big deal for me :)

So, what do I write about for my 100th post?

Oh, you know, a little bit of this and that.  

Here are some pictures from the last week or so!

In case there was any question about what to do with dirty dishes, Leah left a note :)



I love the little notes she leaves around :)

My husband is brilliant.

We have these plastic plates that we use when we go on picnics in the summer.  I couldn't find a good place for them, so I put them on this little ledge we have on the stairwell to the basement.



Not the best spot.

But where did Aaron put them?



Such a smart and obvious choice.  I don't know why things like that are so beyond me!

Maggie got to go to pre-school this week!  The high school parenting and children class puts it on for 1 hour a day from Monday-Thursday.  Maggie missed Thursday, because she was sick.

Her little friend Gracie came, too!



She had so much fun!  And neither of us cried on her first day which is always a plus.

While Maggie and Gracie were at school, our Gracie Kate and I went to the park.



I love getting to play with her by herself.  It's fun to see what she likes to do when she just chooses instead of responding to her sisters all the time.  Gracie is just so pretty!

The other day, Gracie didn't take a nap even though she was in her bed the whole time.  She told me she was "playing house."



I'm guessing the edge of the crib is a chair for her doll or something?  Gracie is pretty resourceful :)

And, lastly, here's a really pretty salad I made for lunch:



Isn't it so pretty?  I found it on Annie's Eats.  There's blackberries (on sale), honey goat cheese (that I found at Aldi...another WIN), sugared walnuts, vidalia onions, and a super yummy dressing you make yourself.  

Nothing like celebrating 100 posts with delightful randomness :)

Here's to 100 more!




I'm linking up here:
   life rearranged

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Distinctives of a House Full of Girls

Remember when Leah wore this super cute outfit a couple of weeks ago?



She got grass stains on the knees which isn't a big deal.  They haven't come out yet, but I'm sure I can just bleach them.  

But, it occurred to me that this was the first time in over 7 years of being a mom that I've had to deal with grass stains.

I'm guessing that wouldn't be the case if there was a little boy in the house!

This got me to thinking about some things in our lives that are distinctive to having all daughters.

1. Toilet Paper.

The sheer amount of toilet paper that we go through on a regular basis is staggering.



Staggering, I tell you.

Plus they are toilet paper snobs (can't say I blame them), so it isn't cheap.



Maggie loves to find snug little spots by the toilet paper when we are shopping, so these pictures actually aren't posed, I just brought my camera :)

Anyway, I figure I'll make up for the extreme cost of toilet paper by not buying frozen pizza in bulk like I might if we had a house full of boys.

2.  Hair.

Also staggering is the obscene amount of hair in this house.



I can sweep the bathroom floor, and an hour or so later, there is hair all over it again.  

Hair is everywhere!

Seriously.  Everywhere!

Gracie has taken to whining about notifying me each time she has a stray hair on her hand or foot.  

How generous.

It is awfully beautiful on their heads, though!

3.  Bossiness.

Also known as excessive-amounts-of-good-ideas-that-you-simply-can't-bear-to-have-others-not-hear-and-comply-with.



We were visiting my parents once and my brother and sister-in-law came over.  Laurie mentioned that Charity was really looking forward to playing with Leah.

I said, "Oh, yeah, Leah probably bosses her around differently than Jonathan does."

Laurie offhandedly said, "Oh, Jonathan doesn't boss her around."

If my life was a Disney show, the sound effect of a needle scratching off of a record would have been heard.

I was shocked!  "You mean, he doesn't, like, tell her how to play or make her use his ideas or..." I sputtered.

"No," Laurie answered.  "None of the boys are bossy."

Y'all, I didn't know that they made kids that aren't bossy!  Did not know that kind even existed.

Leah, Maggie, and Gracie are all bossy.  I mean, Gracie was barely verbal and she was bossing Maggie around.  She'd toddle after her saying, "Mag-GIE!  Mag-GIE!  Mag-GIE!"

Plus, when the girls have been playing school lately, Leah immediately claims the roles of teacher, bus driver, and mom...so pretty much any person who is the boss.

And don't think Maggie is lost in the bossiness shuffle.  She certainly asserts her ideas.

Laurie went on to say that some of her friends have sons and daughters and generally speaking the girls were bossy and the boys weren't.  But, on the flip side, the bossy ones were mostly eager to help their younger siblings, while the non-bossy ones were more likely to be indifferent towards the new babies.

Obviously this is anecdotal and not scientific, but I've found that to be true at our house and in the families of friends as I've asked them about it.

I'll take the bossiness, though, because I really believe that when bossiness is redeemed and refined, it'll turn into leadership and initiative.

At least that's what I'm banking on :)

Sooooooo, back to those grass stains.  Any great tips for getting them out of clothes?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Creamy Garlic Alfredo Sauce

I can't think of a single person who doesn't like Alfredo sauce.



Although as soon as I post this, I'm sure I'll think of a bunch of people who don't like, but, hey, for now I'll say everyone loves it :)

I'm sure plenty of people don't eat it often, even though they like it, because it's not the healthiest dish out there or it seems too fancy or hard to make at home.

This recipe is easy peasy!

All you need is:


2 tablespoons of butter
3 cloves of garlic, minced
4 oz (half of a package) cream cheese (I used the third less fat kind and thought it was great. Whatever you do, don't use fat free, as I'm pretty sure it's caulk.) cut into 6 pieces
1 cup of milk (I used 2 %, but you could use whatever)
3 oz (about 1 cup) shredded or grated parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

Oh, look, you don't even need heavy cream!

In a medium pot or skillet, over medium heat, melt the butter.  Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes.  Don't let it burn...nobody likes burned garlic!  Whisk in the cream cheese until smooth, about 2 or 3 minutes.  Don't panic if it looks weird at first, just keep whisking and it will smooth right on out.  Once it is a smooth paste, add the milk, about 1/4 cup at a time, whisking quickly and constantly until each addition is fully incorporated.  Stir in the parmesan cheese and salt and pepper until the cheese is melted.  For thin sauce, remove from heat right after the cheese has melted.  For thicker sauce, keep cooking until it reaches desired consistency.  Serve immediately.

The girls and I picked out the most fun pasta shape we could find at Walmart.


It reminds me of a little trumpet.


The first time I made this, everybody ate it!!!  

My natural response was to throw my hands victoriously in the air and triumphantly exclaim, "YES!  YES!! YESSSS!!!"

So, of course, the next time I made it, Leah and Maggie didn't want to eat it, but whatevs.

It is still quick, yummy, and easy!  It's delicious served with grilled chicken.  I even made it with sprinkle cheese (you know, the parmesan in a plastic shaker) the first time I made it, and it worked great!


The nice things is that it's easy to keep these ingredients on hand for those times you need something quick.  Once the ingredients were prepped (which didn't take long at all), the sauce was literally done in about 10 minutes.

Give it a try and let me know how you like it!

Recipe Source:  Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Monday, May 20, 2013

Date Night Recap: Golf Edition

Yes, we went golfing.

Yes, by golfing I mean we went to the driving range.

And, yes, it was as ridiculous as you're thinking it was.

But, first we went to Culver's.

I always want to get the Colby Jack Pub Burger, but I just can't bring myself to do it.


I feel like if I ate one, I would shave a few years off my life or have a small heart attack.

Instead, I had a very lovely Cranberry Bacon Bleu salad with raspberry vinaigrette.


I feel that, even with the bacon, it's still less heart attack-y than the pub burger.

Our friend gave us a buy one get one free concrete mixer coupon, so we got those.

Let's not discuss the heart attack-ness of those.

Aaron is such a trooper with me documenting a lot of what we do for this here blog.


I was a little nervous to try a new concrete mixer.


I usually have mine with heath and oreo, but this time I had it with heath and peanut butter cups.

I know.  I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll say it again, but I am incredibly wild and edgy.

I liked the new combo, but I'm going to stick with my usual.

Then, it was golf time.

Here is what you need to know.  

Aaron is sporty.  He's good at every sport I've seen him play...some he's better than others, but he's good at all of them.  Very coordinated.

I'm, shall we say, less than sporty...and lean toward the klutzy end of the spectrum.  I'm pretty much the least competitive person in the world, so it doesn't bother me.  I'd rather make cupcakes and witty comments than score a basket or a point or a whatever.

But, I do enjoy being outside and trying new things, especially with Aaron, so I was totally game to give golfing a try!

We went to the golf course and paid 6 bucks for a large basket of balls.

We rode in a golf cart out to the driving range, and it was like the good ol' days at camp when we'd zoom around in a golf cart taking care of homesick campers and other odds and ends.


Of course, at camp I was wearing flip flops, which is how I destroyed my feet and why I now have to wear supportive shoes close to all of the time.  Sigh.  Who knew wearing flip flops 8 months of the year for several years could do so much damage.

Anyway, once we got there, we were ready to go!


It took me a while to figure out the best way to get the tee into the ground, but Aaron showed me the trick, and I stopped trying to step on it to get it in.

I had a few shots like this one.


This isn't a joke; I really did only hit it a couple of inches 2 or 3 times!

Aaron, was typically awesome, hitting them really far, and they even sounded good flying through the air...like he was Tiger Woods or something.  But, minus the shadiness, of course :)

There was a really beautiful sky, too.


I feel that sky pictures never do the beauty of the actual sky justice, and this is no exception. You'll have to take my word that it was very beautiful!

We had lots of fun...


...even though I did procure my first sports injury.

Here's the thing, driving a golf ball is A LOT harder than it looks!  When you are on the klutzy end of the spectrum like yours truly, you miss the ball sometimes. 

Sometimes I wouldn't make contact with anything and whiff it.

Other times, more frequent times, I would swing and totally whack the ground.  So my thumb and wrist and inside of my forearm hurt.

For two whole days.

That's a sports injury, right?

For some reason, I feel awesome for having had a sports injury.

But, sports injury or not, we had lots of fun and lots of good laughs!

I'd call that a date night success!

Next up:  frisbee golf!