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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Weekend!

We headed to Peoria on Friday to spend the weekend with my folks.  So much fun, despite the fact that my bad sleepers become VERY bad sleepers when we travel.  Sigh.  

Friday night we got there about 6:30 and had dinner with Kara, my soon to be sis-in-law.  Don't you love that she's comfortable enough to hang out with us crazies even when my brother isn't there.  We missed seeing Jenna, Philip, and Casey though. :(

Saturday morning, we just hung out and played with Owen in the basement (his favorite place since it holds all the trucks and cars a little boy could dream of).  After an early lunch, we went outside to do a little egg hunt around their house.  Owen did great finding them all and helping Ellie put her pink ones in her basket.  Not only did Owen get goodies inside the eggs, there were ones that had little slips of paper that told him another prize he got.  My mom went crazy overboard and stocked him up on coloring books, stickers, bubbles, new sidewalk chalk, and a few more outside things.  They both are sorta spoiled rotten (and I kinda love it!).
sorting the "loot"
After nap times, Owen wanted to head back outside with Grandpa and use the bubbles.   We took a few pictures and then took a group walk down to the little pond in their neighborhood to see if there were any geese or ducks out.
he would NOT make a normal face!
the best of many. . .
modeling her hat perfectly
my favorite guys in the world!
can you spot the goose?
Sunday morning was an EPIC fail when it came to having kids that cooperated in getting ready for Easter.  Owen screamed about everything and was super whiny.  So by the time I forced his tie on him and he stopped ripping it off, there was no way I was getting a picture out of him.  Ellie will not sit still for a picture so this means I have NO Easter pictures of the 2 of them.  This is only one of Owen at the table at church.  He was adorable in the tie even though it came off immedaitely after church.  
And Ellie wasn't much more cooperative either. 
her new favorite thing is "stirring" and pretending to eat - so cute!
yes, this is Ellie eating the dirt from the tulips
Oh well, that's not what Easter is all about, right?  We had a fabulous time at the Vineyard Church - Peoria.  My dad's message was great, they had a full band which is a new addition, and they had a record attendance!  So excited for them!  We can't wait to go back in just a month or so for my sister in law (to be)'s baptism!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

our new menu plan

I am pretty excited about the new menu plan we’ve been using at our house!  It’s no secret that meal planning and prep is not my strong suit.  I do it because my family needs to eat, but I don’t enjoy it.  A few months ago, several ladies in my Mom2Mom group shared that they were using a new service called Fresh 20 that emailed them their menu plans every week, along with their grocery list.  They offered to send me a couple sample weeks to see if I liked them.  I loved it.  I simply printed my list, went shopping and knew that I had what I need for the next 5 dinners.  Out of the 10 dinners we tried, 8 were hits.  I love that they use only 20 fresh ingredients and a few pantry staples. 

I went to buy a year's subscription when I found out the current groupon (my referral link) going on was for EMeals.  (here’s the direct link to the groupon)  It’s the exact same premise as Fresh 20 just a different service.  I also enjoyed that it was Dave Ramsey endorsed.  I was blown away that you can choose from 10 different plans - classic, clean eating, simple gourmet, paleo, low carb, low fat, portion control, natural and organic, gluten free, and vegetarian.  We are currently in week 3 of the portion control plan and I’m very happy!!We have really liked the meals and Owen is actually eating them!  I mean seriously, he ate curried chicken and broccoli tonight.  And didn't even ask for yogurt. :)  I feel like all the hard work of hunting down new recipes is done for me and I simply print my grocery list and go.  I like that EMeals gives me 7 meals a week instead of 5 like Fresh 20, although it usually takes us a week and half to 2 weeks to get through one menu plan. I like to add in a few of our old favorites, a leftover night, and a fend for yourself night or 2.  Here’s a sample of a week if you want to take a peek.

I would say this idea is great for you if you don’t love menu planning.  And if you don’t have a super picky eaters as your spouse. :)  But I’m a big fan.  Let me know if you have any questions or want to try a week before committing!

Happy 11 Months!

IMG_0535Happy 11 Months Ellison Jakeh!  It’s pretty hard to believe that we are knee deep (pun intended) in her first birthday party planning.  It literally feels like yesterday when we had the amazing experience of meeting her. IMG_0506 We have no stats from this month, but the poor thing got skinny during her 2 weeks with the dreaded flu.  Now she looks really long and thin.IMG_0501 Thankfully, she is back to eating a ton this week!  She’s finally getting braver with textures and enjoying more table food along with her purees.  Still a great nurser although she moves around a ton until my milk lets down and that drives me batty. :)IMG_0503Her big personality is such a joy to watch!  She loves to wave, hold her hands up for “so big” and has a great wiggle when she dances.  She claps all the time and gives the best kisses.  She says ma-ma and da-da and ba-ba for brother or baby.  She’ll say "uh” when I say uh-oh.  We’ve been signing with her for awhile, but she has yet to be really interested in doing any of the signs for more, milk, or all done.
IMG_0591 She definitely knows what she wants and doesn’t have much patience when she doesn’t get it.  She loves Owen’s micro-machines (really tiny cars) and won’t have anything to do with the bigger ones she can’t swallow.  She loves to hold my phone, but prefers the screen to be on, not black.  Once in her high chair you better have food ready that instant for her.IMG_0629Look at all that hair!  Haha.  Ok, there’s not much yet but the back is finally starting to fill in.  There’s hope that she won’t be bald forever!IMG_0586I thought she might be walking by her birthday.  But with the 2 week stint of not much moving, that might not be the case.  She loves to walk with her walker toy or pushing Owen’s big truck.  And when holding our fingers, she doesn’t lean on them nearly as much.  But she hasn’t attempted to take any steps yet away from the furniture. IMG_0513 I think she’s getting ready to drop her morning nap.  I was not ready for this as Owen didn’t drop his until around 18 months.  But a few mornings this week she’s gone without it and been fine.  It would be nicer to get a slightly longer afternoon nap out of her and to have freedom to do things all morning, but I’ll miss my alone time with Owen.IMG_0527She adores her pink monkey, Mimi and cuddles and gives it kisses while in bed.  She’s definitely not a cuddler though and prefers to be put right into bed instead of any rocking.IMG_0546 Praise Jesus!  IMG_0519Such a fun month getting to know this sweet little girl even more.  Cannot wait to celebrate her soon!blog-signature-1

Sunday, March 24, 2013


Today I turned 32.  Wow that's hard to believe.  I'm heading towards my mid-thirties.  But I must say I love my 30's.  Finally feel pretty comfortable in my own skin if that makes sense.  It was a nice low-key birthday celebrating with all my sweeties.  I'm looking forward a sushi dinner date tomorrow night and not having to do bedtime routines. :)

We simply did church:
Ellie in her cute dress
Then we went out to eat at Applebee's.  The kiddos thankfully did awesome!
William listened very well to my hints for a birthday gift.  I need to up my exercise and I hated my current shoes.  I literally had to put a band-aid on every time I wore them.  So he gave me money to go to Body N' Sole and actually talk with someone who knows about shoes instead of just grabbing a "cute" pair from Kohl's.  I tried on about 15 pair and it was down to these 2 (Saucony on the left, Brooks on the right).  I loved the feel of the Brooks, but enjoyed the pink and gray combo. I told him I would take the blue ones and he said "let me do one more check in the back."
And then he came back out with the exact same Brooks in pink and gray.  SOLD!  I'm in love and wish there wasn't a foot of snow on the ground to try them outside.
Since the kids refused to nap today (of course) we did some Easter fun since we were trapped inside. Owen did a great job helping me dye some Easter eggs.  A little tip I found on Pinterest was the put the egg in a whisk so he could hold it easier and put it into the cup of dye. It worked great!
mixing the dye
he was pretty excited when we took them out
Ellie was just cruising around the house - won't be long now before she's walking
a view from the front porch
My mom said that the day I was born was a bright, sunny spring day.  Quite different from today.  But still a nice day with the family!
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