Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Back in the Saddle Again

As many of you know, Trenton took a bad fall on his bike the day after Easter. 

He was across the street playing with friends.  He rode his bike down their driveway (which is steeper than our driveway), and was going to turn to get on the sidewalk from the driveway.  Except he didn’t make his turn sharp enough.  He went through the grass between the sidewalk and the road, narrowly missing a mailbox, hit the curb, and went flying into the road.

Trenton had a big gash in his right knee, and his other leg, arms, and face were all scraped up.  He wound up needing two stitches in his knee.

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And he hit the road so hard that it bent the handlebar shaft on his bike.  He was very lucky that he wasn’t hurt worse than he was.

I think Trenton probably would have gotten back on his bike as soon as those stitches came out of his knee, but we weren’t going to let him ride a bent up bike.

Last week Jarrod and Trenton went to a local bike shop, and Trenton picked out a new bike.  The bike shop assembled it, and it was ready to go the next day.  And Trenton couldn’t wait to get on it!


I’m so happy that my little guy wasn’t scared of jumping right back in the saddle!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Charlotte’s Stage Debut

Charlotte made her stage debut yesterday afternoon at her spring dance recital!

Some of you may remember that Charlotte took ballet for a few months while we were in California, but it was a monthly class where they started over and learned the same thing from the beginning each month.  So she only did a few months of that.

This year, when Charlotte said that she wanted to be in ballet, I found a studio that offered classes for the whole school year, ending with a recital.

I didn’t know how Charlotte would do up on stage in front of an auditorium full of people.  I took her to dress rehearsal Friday evening, and she came off of that stage beaming!  She couldn’t wait to get back up there on Saturday!

We split up yesterday for the recital.  Charlotte’s dance wasn’t until after intermission.  She and I went to watch the first half of the recital with her dressed in her costume with one of my shirts over it.  Charlotte got to watch one of her friends and her teacher dance.  She loved it.

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Jarrod, Trenton, and Evelyn left a little later, went to a flower shop, and then dropped Evelyn off with a friend (there’s NO way she would have sat through even part of the recital!).  Jarrod and Trenton got to the recital a little before intermission – right about the time Charlotte and I were leaving our seats to go to the bathroom one last time before going back to the dressing room to await her dance.

Jarrod, Trenton, and I only had to wait a few dances after intermission before we got to see our little ballerina up on that stage.  She danced to Bippity Boppity Boo and totally rocked it!

Then it was back to the dressing room to hang out until the finale.  The finale was to Pump Up the Jam, and the girls (and a couple boys) took turns coming out on the stage.  It was so cute! 

After waiting in line to pick Charlotte up from the dressing room, Charlotte was excited that in addition to the flower that her dance teacher gave her, she also got flowers from Trenton (who I didn’t get a picture of) and Daddy!

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And she’s already asking when she can dance in another recital!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Fiesta Slaw

So I have never been a fan of coleslaw.  I remember eating it a few times with my grandpa, a big Church’s Fried Chicken fan, when I was really little, but other than that, I’ve never liked it.

Enter my Aunt Rose Anne.  Seriously, my aunt does not know how to make food that doesn’t taste good.  I always make it a point to try whatever food she makes.  We were back home for Christmas three years ago, and she made some Asian Slaw that was really good.  Then we were back home again that summer, and she brought Fiesta Slaw to a family pool party.  And I went back for seconds.  And thirds.

Y’all, this stuff is good! 

Fiesta Slaw

So, I thought I’d share the recipe here with all of you so that you can enjoy the yumminess.  It’s a great dish for backyard BBQs.

Fiesta Slaw:
1 pkg. coleslaw
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can sweet corn, drained
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/3 purple onion, diced
1 fresh jalapeno, diced
1 small can sliced ripe olives
1/2 bunch cilantro

Put all slaw ingredients in a gallon ziplock bag and set aside.

3/4 c. mayonnaise or Greek yogurt
1 T. red wine vinegar
1 to 1-1/2 Tbsp raw cane sugar
1/4 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all dressing ingredients together in a bowl and pour into the slaw filled ziplock.  Close the ziplock and shake to mix.  Pour slaw into a serving bowl.  Serve with crushed tortilla chips or tortilla strips on top.

Fiesta Slaw

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Kids’ Reactions

Trenton and Charlotte were pretty excited when we told them our big news on Sunday.


Evelyn was too busy doing her own thing, as usual, to pay much attention to what was going on.

Once the kids got over their initial excitement, this is what thought about having a new baby on the way.


He told everyone the news right away when he got to school on Monday.  He’s also started teaching the baby his/her ABCs.  But…he also said that if it’s another girl, he’s going to lock himself in his room…

Charlotte couldn’t wait to call family when we got home from our picnic lunch to spread the news.  But she’s been a little more shy about spreading the news at school.  She also said a prayer about the baby the other day:
In the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.
Dear God,
Can you please make the baby in Mommy’s tummy grow a little faster so that I can feel it move when I tickle Mommy’s belly?  Thanks!
In the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.

I don’t think she’s quite ready to give up being the baby of the family….


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother’s Day News

Children are blessings

Spring Pictures

to love and adore.

Spring Pictures

Right now we have three.

Spring Pictures

…..But soon we’ll have four!

Announcing Baby #4

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Dirty Girl Mud Run 2015

On Saturday, Jarrod, the kids, and I all loaded up into the car to drive up to Scranton so that I could run in the Dirty Girl Mud Run 5K with some friends.


It was my first mud run, and it was a blast!


Most of the course wasn’t very conducive to actually running, but that didn’t mean that it wasn’t a good workout.  Some of those obstacles were pretty hard!


There was a giant pyramid to climb over, big inflatable balls to run/push through, multiple mud pits, a giant slip & slide, rope spider webs, rope ladders, plastic corrugated pipes to crawl through, and fire to jump over.  Let me tell ya, jumping over fire give you some definite street cred with your kids! 

Trenton and Charlotte weren’t all that enthused before the race started about the fact that they were only going to be able to watch the race and not run in it.  But they had a couple of friends to watch with, and they really had a lot of fun yelling for us whenever we passed by.  At the top of their lungs, of course.  And after the race, they were all armed with silly string to shoot at us!


Evelyn apparently did not like being separated from Mommy during the time it took us to run the race.  She didn’t mind one bit that Mommy was crazy dirty and came right to me after the race.


Jarrod and the other two kids did not give me hugs until I had rinsed off and changed clothes though….

I had so much fun in the Dirty Girl Mud Run!  We could not have asked for nicer weather.  And while I did fall in the mud back-first (on more than one occasion), I managed to not fall face first or get thrown down in the mud pits.  So that’s why the front of my shirt stayed pretty clean comparatively speaking.  


I was in bed asleep by 8:15 Saturday night, but the exhaustion was truly worth it.  I can’t wait for next year’s mud run!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

My 21 Day Fix Favorites

I am currently on my third round of the 21 Day Fix, and I am still loving it just as much as I did the first round!

Eating healthy has become a lifestyle norm around here (for the most part; we still have cheat meals every once in a while), and I love trying out new recipes.  I’ve changed up a few to our liking, and I thought I’d share them with y’all!

Eggplant Mushroom Pizzas
Eggplant Pizzas
1 large eggplant, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
1 tsp coarse sea salt
1 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 cup pizza sauce (recipe below)
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
3/4 cup portabella mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced

1. Sprinkle eggplant slices with sea salt, and let sit for 20 minutes.  Wipe dry.
2. Brush eggplant slices with 1/2 Tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with Italian seasoning.
3. Roast eggplant in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes (until it’s just turning tender).
4. While eggplant is roasting, sauté mushrooms with 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil and a clove of minced garlic.
5. Once the eggplant is done roasting, top slices with pizza sauce, cheese, and mushrooms, and broil until the cheese is melted – about 3-5 minutes.

Pizza Sauce
2 cups tomatoes, diced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add in the onion and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
2. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook another minute.
3.  Add tomatoes and Italian seasoning.  Cook 5 minutes.
4. Transfer everything to a blender or food processor.  Puree, and then return sauce to the pan.  Add salt and pepper to taste, and simmer for about 5 minutes or until sauce thickens.

21 Day Fix: 2 green, 1 blue

Tilapia & Broccoli for One
Tilapia & Broccoli for One
1 frozen tilapia filet, thawed
3/4 c fresh broccoli florets
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp – 1 tsp extra spicy Mrs. Dash seasoning
1/2 lemon, sliced

1. Place fish and broccoli in baking dish.
2. Mix oil, garlic, and Mrs. Dash seasoning together in a small bowl and then drizzle over broccoli and tilapia.
3. Place lemon slices over fish and broccoli.
4. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

21 Day Fix: 1 red, 1 green, 1 tsp

Open Faced Breakfast Sandwich
Open Faced Breakfast Sandwich
1 slice whole wheat bread
1 slice turkey bacon
1/2 tomato, sliced
1 egg

1. Place bread in toaster.
2. Cook turkey bacon in the microwave according to package directions.
3. Scramble egg.
4. Layer in the following order: toast, bacon, tomato, egg

21 Day Fix: 1 red, 1 green, 1 yellow

Apple Nachos
Apple Nachos
(recipe is for one serving, picture is of three servings)
1 apple, sliced
1 tsp natural peanut butter, melted in the microwave 10-20 seconds
1 tsp dark chocolate chips
1 Tbsp walnuts, chopped

1. Sprinkle chocolate chips and walnuts over apple slices.
2. Drizzle with melted peanut butter.

21 Day Fix: 1 purple, 1 yellow, 1/2 blue, 1 tsp

I hope y’all enjoy these recipes as much as we have!  And if you’re interested in learning more about the 21 Day Fix or joining in one of my challenge groups, let me know!  You can contact me via email at or on my FB page HERE.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Boys Weekend Camping Trip

While the girls and I were having fun around here all weekend, the boys were camping with friends a couple hours away.

ready to camp

Trenton had been camping prior to this trip, but it was just one night, and it was only a few minutes from our house in California.

From all of the stories that I heard and the amount of dirt that was caked on Trenton when he got home on Sunday, it was a very successful weekend.

There were campfires, fishing (Trenton caught the biggest fish of the weekend!), s’mores, gun shooting, and a bunch more dirty outdoor fun.

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Jarrod and Trenton can’t wait to go camping again, and I think Charlotte might get to go soon too.  We’ll have to see about Mommy and Evelyn though….

Sunday, April 19, 2015

A Girls Weekend Recap

Jarrod and Trenton were gone this weekend camping, so it was just me and my favorite girls around here.

Girls Weekend

We started off our weekend Friday evening by going to a potluck dinner with the kiddie group at church.  There was good food, good company, and the girls ran around the school cafeteria and then the playground afterwards.  So that meant good sleeping too!

Saturday called for gorgeous weather, so we headed to Paulus Farm Market to visit the animals.


I bought a bucket of food for Charlotte to feed to the animals.  She had so much fun!  There were three goats that she was feeding at one point.  They all wanted food at the same time, and I heard Charlotte tell them, “just be patient and wait your turn silly goats!”.  Ha!  Now if she could just follow her own advice when she and Trenton fight ravenously over dessert when we go to restaurant…


And I have never seen Evelyn so excited.  She LOVED the animals!  I actually had to stop her from kissing the donkey!

This was where I had to put my camera down because she was giving open mouthed kisses!!!

After feeding all of the animals, we decided we were hungry too.  I did something I’ve never done.  Took the girls to a sit-down restaurant by myself.  And they did great!  So good that we made a trip to a local farm stand that just opened back up for the season and is now offering homemade ice cream in addition to produce, milk, meat, and plants. 

On our way back home, some of our neighbor/friends were outside so we rolled down our windows to say hello.  And they invited us over for dinner!  Of course we weren’t going to turn that down!  We came home, I put Evelyn down for a nap, did some yard work, and then whipped up a salad to take to dinner. 

We had a wonderful time at dinner with friends.  The kids all had a blast together, and I enjoyed some adult conversation.  And once again, the girls slept wonderfully at night!

This morning we got up (I actually had to wake both girls up), went to church, made a trip to Home Depot, and came back home.  After lunch and putting Evelyn down for a nap, Charlotte and I spent three hours outside doing to garden prep work and seeding bare spots in the yard.  And let me tell you, I think I have a new yard helper!  She loved it, and asked when she can help in the yard again!

Jarrod and Trenton got home right around dinner time (VERY dirty – a sign of a good trip), and we ate, took baths, and called our weekend good.  Charlotte said it was the “best weekend ever”, so I’d say that our first girls weekend was a success!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Watch Evelyn Grow: 15 Months

Evelyn turned 15 months old on Friday.  And let me tell you, she is a M. E. S. S.

She’s also a drooling fool, as you can see…

Girlfriend does not sit still for more than a minute at a time.  Which is probably why she can’t make it through Mass without being taken to the back. 

Her favorite ways to play include: tearing kleenex up into a zillion little pieces, pulling trash out of the garbage, climbing up on the couch and dancing or running back and forth (like I said – she does not sit), unrolling toilet paper, knocking down Charlotte’s lego castles, pulling clothes out of Trenton’s drawers, and playing in Bailey’s food and water.  It’s a wonder I ever get any work done around here!

Evelyn doesn’t talk very much.  She’ll say Mama, Dada, Budd-a (brother), and hi.  But it’s still mostly just babbles.  I’m not overly worried though.  I’m sure she’ll be talking up a storm before we know it!


In the past two months, Evelyn has had three ear infections.  Which means that she’s still not sleeping through the night either.  We’ll get one or two nights a week where she sleeps through the night if she’s not sick, but that hasn’t happened much. 

Evelyn also has a total of eight teeth now.  One of her front teeth has bright white spots on it, which I am kind of worried about.  I’ve called the dentist’s office twice asking them about it, and they’ve told me both times that white spots are a fairly normal occurrence.  I guess we’ll find out for sure when I take all three kids to the dentist next month for check-ups (sounds like a fun time, huh?).


Evelyn is also a really good eater (as if you couldn’t tell by looking at her!).  She doesn’t really like bell peppers or the yolk part of hard boiled eggs, but other than that, she’ll eat pretty much anything we put in front of her.  Her favorites are bananas, chicken, yogurt, string cheese, and Mommy’s and Daddy’s Shakeology (she seriously comes running when she hears the blender!).

This girl is a lover.  She hands out kisses all the time.  And she especially loves kissing and hugging on Bailey.  I don’t think he enjoys it quite as much as she does, but he’s a good sport and lets Evelyn love on him. 

Just within the last month, Evelyn started walking really well and has started using walking as her preferred mode of getting around.  She’s still a little wobbly on her feet now and then, but she’ll be off to the races soon! 


Evelyn had her 15 month check up today, and thankfully there was no talk of baby BMI this time.  She weighed in at 24 pounds, 14 ounces (78th percentile), and is 31 inches tall (68th percentile).

We definitely have a little tornado on our hands, but she’s the best little tornado around!  Mommy and Daddy love you, Evelyn!