Monday, August 31, 2009

Meatball Pops

Tonight, I didn't feel like cooking really so I decided to try this quick and easy recipe I got in my inbox last week from Pillsbury. They're called meatball pops! They're listed as an appetizer, but since I used a larger size can of biscuits and more meatballs it was definitely enough to fill us up! They were very delicious! I tweaked the recipe a little so I'll give you both versions. Here's the recipe from

1can (10.2 oz) Pillsbury® Grands!® refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1/3cup shredded Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese
10refrigerated or frozen cooked beef meatballs, thawed
1/4cup LAND O LAKES® Butter, melted
2/3cup finely crushed seasoned croutons
10large appetizer picks or lollipop sticks, if desired
1 1/2
cups tomato pasta sauce, heated


Heat oven to 375°F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper, or spray with CRISCO® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray.
Separate dough into 5 biscuits. Split each biscuit to make 10 rounds. Press out each biscuit half to form 3-inch round.
.Sprinkle each biscuit round with cheese to within 1/2 inch of edge.
Top each with meatball. Bring up sides of dough over meatball; pinch edges to seal.
Brush rounded tops and sides of dough with butter; coat with croutons. Place, seam side down, on cookie sheet.

Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Place appetizer pick in each biscuit-wrapped meatball to form meatball pop. Serve with warm pasta sauce for dipping.

My Tweaks:

- I used a 16.3oz can of Grands Reduced Fat Biscuits since that's all I had, which is an 8 count so you end up with 16 when you split them. (So you'll need 16 meatballs)
- I didn't measure the cheese, as I never do.
- I just used a small jar of spaghetti sauce
- Instead of croutons I used plain bread crumbs (Greg doesn't like croutons). Some of them I left plain without and bread crumbs
- I wasn't fancy so I didn't put them on the picks!

Everyone in the family liked them, including the kids so we'll definitely be making them again. Next time I'm going to try them with mozzarella cheese and Italian bread crumbs! Mmmmm! Here's a picture of them (from the Pillsbury site)! Mine didn't come out that perfect looking, but they were still good!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sesame Street Live

Today was our big outing to Sesame Street Live at the MSU Breslin Center! To refresh your memory, this was another opportunity given to us by LMLM. A few weeks ago LMLM announced they were giving away free tickets! I jumped on the bandwagon and reserved my tickets. I've been keeping it a secret from the kids since I found out we got tickets. I didn't want to have to hear from Evan, "Is today the day we're going?" over and over and over. So finally yesterday I asked the kids if they'd like to go see Sesame Street. They were both very excited and said, "yes!" Of course all day yesterday Evan kept asking when we were going, and first thing this morning he asked if today was Sesame Street day! I could say "YES" finally!

I got Em up about 8:15am so she could have an early nap and be all ready for our big outing. By 11:30am she was ready to go down for a nap and she fell fast to sleep and woke up at 3pm! Perfect! Greg had to work all day because today was the first day of move in for Freshmen! He had to go around campus with the President of the University shooting video of move in to be posted on the MSU website tomorrow. So after Em woke up from her nap I loaded the kids in the car and off we went to meet daddy at the Breslin Center for Sesame Street Live. Here's my cutie patooties waiting to go in to the show. Em's all decked out in her Elmo shirt (which I discovered when I put on her today... is a little small and won't be fitting her this fall). Thank goodness for a chilly day in August to wear long sleeves! LOL!

We went with some of our neighbors who also got tickets. So it was nice we were all able to sit together! Unfortunately, Em's friend Maddie came down with a really bad stomach virus yesterday and was in the hospital so she didn't get to go along. We missed having her there, but we're glad to hear she's home now. Hopefully she'll be on the mend soon! There's a nasty bug going around everywhere lately it seems! This morning I also found out that our friends, the Toburen's were going so we were hoping to meet up with them there. When we got to our seats I heard someone calling my name. Marie, Kyra, Connor, and Marie's sister Karen were sitting in the section next to us. It wasn't very crowded, as it was the last show of the weekend, so we were able to walk right over and visit with them!

The show was all about using your imagination. The Sesame Street gang sang and danced away to several songs! Elmo and his friends did the hula, surfed, had a fiesta, went to camp, the rain forest, and even played African drums! Emmaline was totally into the show (more so than when I took her to Playhouse Disney in February). She was clapping, dancing, waving bye to Elmo and friends when they went off stage, and having the time of her life! It was so fun to watch her watch the show. Evan enjoyed it as well, but he was in some kind of funk and wasn't being his normal cheery self. I think it was because he couldn't sit by his friend Grace the whole time. He still had fun though so I'm glad we all went! It was much easier having Greg along to help with the kids since I went solo to Playhouse Disney with them! I took a ton of pictures of course so here's a few of them. I posted most of the good one's on Facebook which most of you have access too. For others I'll have to show you another time. I just don't feel like loading all of them on here tonight. So without further ado... here's a few highlights from the show!

It's time for a Fiesta and start dancing!

Elmo, Big Bird, & Abby Cadabby doing the hula!

Elmo & friends with their surfboards... Surfin' USA!

Emmaline totally lovin' the show!

Elmo's World... Elmo loves his goldfish, his crayons too...

Big Bird and friends used their imagination and were in a parade!

We had a great afternoon, and it was the perfect way to spend another chilly August day! Unfortunately, Greg had to rush right back to work after wards, but the three of us were glad daddy could come along! A HUGE thanks to Lansing Moms Like Me for the tickets! We really appreciate it! Stephanie the site manager worked really hard to make this happen for site members so I'm very thankful for the opportunity! I can't wait to take the kids to their next show... whatever it may be!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Back To School Shopping

It rained AGAIN today and that meant not being able to get outside. The grass is getting so long and really needs to get cut, but that's not happening until it dries up a little. So what to do, what to do? Evan decided that he wanted to go to lunch with YaYa. So Greg said Evan would have to call her and see if she was busy or not. She said that was fine and we met her at Ruby Tuesday's in Okemos because we had some errands to run that way. Now that it's cold in August, we had to pull the jeans out for the kids and Evan's only got one good pair with no holes. So I wanted to go to Target to get him some new jeans for school (and to wear now if it doesn't warm up soon) so we figured we'd just eat lunch out that way. We had a good lunch. I had the soup and salad bar. They have a really good salad bar there and the soup hit the spot on this dreary cold day.

When we got to lunch Evan got some money from YaYa to go school clothes shopping. What a nice surprise and we really appreciated it! Thanks YaYa! Ruby Tuesday's is in the mall so after we ate we walked down to Children's Place to see what school clothes we could find. Evan tried on some things and ended up with an armful of stuff. We found a couple things for Em too. Greg's mom told Evan to keep the money to get stuff at Target or wherever else and bought all this stuff for him at Children's Place.

I can see my little guy looking so handsome at school in all his new clothes! Of course he had to have something orange and something with a guitar on it! He's been wanting new underwear forever and since we didn't make it to the outlet mall last weekend where I told him I'd get him some, he found some here he liked! Here's a couple things Em got.

I've had my eye on this shirt for her, but was waiting for it to go on sale. Today it was on sale! Woo hoo! I've also been wanting these tights to go with that cute dress she got on her birthday from my friend Wes. I was waiting for them to go on sale too, and today they were on sale too! Woo hoo! Since brother got some underwear, Em got some too. It was cheaper to get two packs than one, and I had planned to get some for her last weekend as well, but like I said, never made it to the outlet mall.

We did head over to Target after the mall. They were a little picked over in Evan's sizes, but since it was a madhouse in there with everyone back to school shopping it was understandable. We did find another pair of jeans and will probably head to Kohl's to look for a few more things sometime. The kids are sure to get some good use out of their new clothes! Thanks Ya Ya!

In other news.... I guess we were all tired this morning because Greg, Evan, and I didn't wake up until 9:30am! I can't believe I slept that late. I was actually going to get up before everyone so I could get caught up on the blogs, but I guess sleep got the best of me! Em must had been trying to catch up on some lost sleep as well because she didn't wake up until just after 10:30am! Of course that messed up her schedule and nap time and since we were gone shopping all afternoon she didn't go down for nap until 4:30pm and slept until 7:30pm. That meant she was up until 10pm! Ugh! I'm going to have to wake her up at a decent time tomorrow though so she can have an early nap because we're off to see Sesame Street tomorrow afternoon!!! Yeah!!!

After I woke up and got ready, I checked my Mega Millions lotto ticket and guess what folks? No unfortunately I wasn't in NY or CA to purchase the winning tickets so I didn't walk away with the $333 million jackpot, but I did have three numbers so that meant I won $7! Exciting huh? Well, actually it is because the most I ever win when I play once in a blue moon is usually $1 or nothing. I picked all our birthdays and our anniversary for the five numbers and Evan picked a number for the Mega ball number. So we had 1, 17, & 31. Apparently there should be a 37th and 54th of the month so Greg could've been born then and we could've gotten married on the other. And Evan should've picked his birth date (31) instead of 5 for the mega ball and we would've won big and I would've shared with all of you. However, that didn't happen so it's back to the drawing board and wait until the Mega Millions climbs to a big amount again and I'll try to get the winning ticket next time. Can you imagine? What a cool blog that would be to blog about! LOL! Since I won $7 and spent $2 on the ticket that meant I was up $5, but then I lost $5 at bunco so that means I broke even!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Today we headed back home and it felt good to get home. The ride wasn't the most pleasant with rain the whole way and a ton of traffic, but at least the kids were good in the car! Em fell asleep right away when we got on the road and Evan watched a DVD. I had to stop about 40 minutes into the drive though because I had drank too much before we left and had to relieve the bladder. I really didn't want to since Em was sleeping, but I had over an hour drive left. It was a quick stop and got right back on the road in hopes of Em falling back to sleep. Well, she almost did fall back to sleep as she gazed out the window with very heavy eyes. However, it didn't happen and she ended up staying awake. Evan continued watching the rest of his movie and Em ended up watching it too. I can't complain though that she didn't nap because both kids were good, and when I got home I took her right up to bed and she slept for 2 1/2 hours!

Tonight was bunco night so that meant girl's night for me! My friend Missy (the one who had the bachelorette party) was hosting bunco this month. It was "End of the summer" bunco although it felt more like fall! We had to bring a summer themed gift. I didn't win any of the baby bunco gifts or any money at bunco tonight, but I did get a big bunco and won a table prize! I got this salad cookbook below, a cd, and some veggies from Missy's garden! My friend Carla was the big bunco winner and won money for most wins and most big buncos, got three baby bunco prizes, as well as a table prize!

While we were away from home some new pets arrived at the house. Greg said he heard Molly with something Wed. night when he let her out. He couldn't see anything in the dark, but Thursday morning he went out to look and saw a baby bunny. He didn't see a nest or anything so he moved the baby out of the fence part. Then he fed Molly and let her back out and she managed to find the nest because there were two more baby bunnies that were in the yard. She had pulled them out with her paws he thought. He looked around and still didn't see a nest. He didn't see the mommy rabbit anywhere around and couldn't leave them in the yard or Molly would really get them. So he took them down the road a little and put them in the empty field.

Later that morning he texted me to tell me about it. I told him he couldn't leave the babies out in the field. They weren't going to survive. He said they were so new that they couldn't eat anything and really needed their mom to nurse. They didn't even have their eyes open yet. When I heard that I knew for sure they wouldn't make it for long. So he said he'd check on them at lunch when he came home. At lunch time he checked around, didn't see anything and let Molly out. Believe it or not she found ANOTHER baby bunny. Greg heard it squealing and went out and saw it in the yard. Finally he found the nest. It was in some plant dug down in the ground next to the garage. So he decided he'd go get the other three bunnies and this fourth one and put in a box to take care of them. We really have no experience taking care of bunnies and they wouldn't eat anything so I told him to try and call Animal Control or the Humane Society. They referred him to this place in Eaton Rapids (about 20 miles from here) called the Wildside Rehabilitation Center. He got all the bunnies in the box and loaded them into the car and headed out there. I wish I could've seen it! Greg driving and the bunnies in the box sitting on his front seat! When he got out there it was just someone's house to his surprise. This lady cares for animals that need help and once they're ready to be on their own she lets them go. One of the bunnies had a gash on it's back from Molly's paw, but she seemed to think it would survive and that all four would be o.k. I'm so proud of my husband for his good duty for the day and taking care of these newborn bunnies. Unfortunately that means that the momma bunny is without her babies, but at least they'll all survive now. We couldn't leave them in the yard or Molly would keep getting them and Greg's pretty sure Molly scared the momma away anyway. I'll leave you with a picture of the cute little bunnies in the box!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Visit to Aunt Jen's Work

Today we didn't have much to do after Em woke up from her nap. The weather continued to be crappy and rained all day. I'm so sick of this October weather, ooops I mean August! Is it really August? Sure doesn't feel like it! We decided to head over to Aunt Jen's work before it was time for her to get out. My sister is always talking about my kids and wanted to show them off so figured this would be a good day to go. The kids were all about checking the work place out and were definitely getting all the attention. Evan had to check out Aunt Jen's desk and pretend he was doing some work!

Of course once brother checked out the desk someone else had to follow along and do the same thing. Here's Em pretending she's doing some work too!

The kids managed to get some treats from some of Aunt Jen's co-workers, and Em got a cookie from Aunt Jen! Here she is so proud that she got a treat before dinner time!

Thanks Aunt Jen for letting the kids visit work! They had lots of fun roaming around the place and meeting new people!

Em Went to Sleep & More T-Shirts!

As you all know, I've said it before... Em will never go to sleep when we're somewhere else. She apparently loves her crib and her room, and it's the only place she wants to sleep. To refresh your memory, last time I went to my sister's, Em actually fell asleep on the floor in the living room there and took a little nap which was a miracle. However, at bed time she didn't want to go to sleep and wouldn't sleep on the blow up mattress. Well, this time I was really dreading bedtime last night because I just knew she'd fight me on it and not want to go to bed until I did. Plus she'd want to sleep with me. So last night we got the blow up mattress ready put her little pillow on it along with her babies and blankies. Once the bed was all ready I took her in the bedroom gave her a hug and kiss and said it was bedtime. I put her on the mattress and covered her up and walked out of the room and shut the door. I was sure she'd be out in a matter of seconds. I waited, and waited, and waited.... not a peep. After a few minutes I went and peeked in the crack of the door and saw her just laying there staring around the room. O.k., I thought... I'll let her be. A few minutes later I went back again and peeked in and this is what I found.

She was fast asleep! No crying, no fussing, no getting out of bed. She just laid there and fell asleep. This was the easiest it's ever been for Em to go to sleep at Aunt Jen's house. Definitely one to write in the books to remember! She rolled off the mattress a couple times during the night, but I put her right back on and she went right back to sleep! Then this morning I ran a couple of errands. I had to get a bunco gift because tomorrow night is bunco. For those of you that don't know, my sister lives in Edwardsburg. It's about five minutes from the Indiana state line. So if you want to do any shopping you have to go into Indiana to Mishawaka. So I got my errands done and on the way back to my sister's (it's about a 20 minute ride) Em fell asleep. I debated actually whether I should drive around a little so she'd sleep some more or just go back to the house. I decided on going to the house and when I got Em out of the car she woke up a little as I carried her in. I took her right into bed and guess what readers? She went back to sleep, with no problem! Not a peep out of her again! Almost to good to be true! Here she is fast asleep for her nap.

Then came bed time tonight and let's just say I don't have a picture to show you because it wouldn't be a pleasant picture of Em! She was the complete opposite of last night and nap time today. She wanted nothing to do with bed, pillow, blankies, babies, or ANYTHING! She was back to her normal sleep behavior when we're away from home. So yes, the bed time yesterday and nap time today were to good to be true! She finally ended up falling asleep on Aunt Jen's lap and then had to sleep in bed with me once we carried her into the bedroom. Of course that meant I got kicked in the back all night and didn't get a good nights sleep, but it was the only way she was going to bed that night!

The kids got to see Papa & Nana again today and Evan got some more t-shirts from Papa which he was thrilled about! They were t-shirts from the boat races! Here's Evan with one of his new t-shirts! Thanks Papa!

Nana had gone to Target today and picked up some Halloween outfits for the kids. Here's their new outfits and both of Evan's new t-shirts. Thanks Nana! I'm sure we'll get to wear them soon since the weather is turning cold so fast!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Just The Kids & Me

Today the kids and I headed out for a couple days to my sister's. Our weekends are booking up and the summer is coming to an end so this was about our only chance to head that way for awhile. I don't really like to travel on the road by myself with the kids because at times they can be a handful. Since we're going in the middle of the week though that means Greg has to work. So he couldn't come along hence it just being the three of us!

We left after lunch time because I was hoping Emmaline would get a nap in the car since that would be her normal nap time. Well, the first hour that didn't happen because her brother was watching a movie on the DVD player so she was intrigued by that and wouldn't go to sleep. However, I have to say the two of them did really well and were pretty much quiet the whole first hour. I stopped half way in Kalamazoo to do a couple errands I didn't get done on Monday. That helped to break up the trip and get the kids out of the car for a little bit. Then the second part of the drive both kids ended up finally falling asleep so my car ride was pretty peaceful. I wasn't happy that it rained off and on most of the way, but at least it was a light rain for most of it. The trip overall was good and I'm hoping for the same on the way home and the kids either sleep or are quiet. I think it's helped that we separated the car seats so there's some space between Evan and Em now. It was nice though not having to haul the dog, but we all miss Daddy!

We got in right before dinner time and then headed over to my Dad's for dinner. We had pizza which both kids tore up, so they must have been hungry from the long car ride. Today is my step-mom's birthday, Happy Birthday, so we got to enjoy some ice cream cake from Dairy Queen that my Dad picked up. A real treat for us because we really don't have DQ by us except at the mall. The kids were excited to see Papa and Nana and had fun playing with Baggie (their dog). Happy birthday Nana and thanks for the pizza!

This will probably be my last blog until Friday when I get home. I've got some pictures to post with my next couple blogs and will have to wait until I get home to load them to my computer.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My 1st Expression

Yesterday I finally put up my Uppercase Living Expression that I ordered at that first party I went to in July. Since I decided to become and Independent Demonstrator after I went to that party, I wasn't sure if I wanted to put the expression on my wall or on something I could take to shows with me. I thought about it for awhile and decided that I really wanted it up on the wall, and I figured I had enough other pieces to take to shows.

The expression that I chose was the saying "Live, Laugh, Love." Ever since I've become a mom, I've really liked that expression and thought it would fit perfect in our home. (If you haven't noticed it, it's at the top of the blog page too with "Dance" after it. The dance part is especially for my kids since they love to dance.) Here's the expression...

I think it looks really nice. This is my first expression I've put on a wall. I maybe would've ordered it in a size bigger if I were to do it again, but it's fine. I do recommend measuring your space though to make sure you order the correct size. I didn't, but at the time I didn't know anything about the expressions. So for future reference if I order anything I will definitely check the size. Greg even came home last night and said it looks like it's painted on the wall. That's the neatest part about it I think, not to mention the endless possibilities and colors you can get them in. It really doesn't look like a "sticker" on the wall. It looks like someone came in and painted it.

This morning I got a sneak peak at the UL photo prints that will be available starting September 15th. AWESOME! You can take any photo and get it made into a dynamic vinyl decor element. I wish I had an example to show you, but I don't yet. Soon though readers, soon. I think you may be hooked. You can get anywhere from a 2'x2' to a 8'x4'. Plus they're removable AND reusable, unlike the expressions which are removable, but not reusable.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Neighborhood Picnic

Yesterday we had our neighborhood picnic. It was at our big local park, Patriarche Park in East Lansing. The morning started off with some drizzle here and there. I was loading the car with things to take to the picnic and wondering if I should even be loading the car. I thought it was going to rain all day and we wouldn't be able to have the picnic. By the time I got to the park a little before 11am though it had stopped and the sun was out. I got my car unloaded and wouldn't you know it, it started to drizzle again. It was just a light mist so nothing too major and eventually after a little bit it did finally stop for good. However it was pretty much overcast most of the day and a little on the chilly side. Only in the 60's which seemed more like fall weather than August summer weather.

As the picnic got underway, so did the playing in the park. We managed to round up a few of the kids who arrived right away and get a group photo before they headed off to the playground! (Well, not the baby... she obviously couldn't play on the playground. Next year though!)

The organizers of the picnic picked up hamburgers, hot dogs, and buns and then we asked each family to bring a $10 donation to cover the cost of all the meat. We figured it was just easier to pick up the meat and buns instead of having everyone bring their own. Everyone else that attended brought a dish or beverage to pass based on their last name. The builders of our development, Mayberry Homes, were so generous to donate a Melting Moments cart with chocolate chip ice cream cookie sandwiches. For those of you not familiar with Melting Moments, it's a local ice cream shop. They have these fabulous cookie sandwiches that they sell at the shop and at all MSU sporting events and E. Lansing events. Very delicious! So guess who jumped in by the cart while I was trying to take a picture? Yes, that would be my daughter there hanging out by the Melting Moments cart!

My friend Nico (the coordinator of the Time Bank) did a lot of work to put all this together and a huge thank you goes out to him and his wife Susan for making this all happen. Nico continued working at the picnic and manned the grill serving up some yummy hotdogs and burgers. Here's Nico and Matt who were in charge of the grilling.

The picnic turned out to be a great time and a great day for our neighborhood. We probably had 70-80 people there, and we got a lot more people interested in the Hawk Nest Time Bank. Susan planned an activity to get us going on some more Time Bank exchanges. We had to right something on an index card that we would offer to do for someone for an hour. I offered babysitting and the card I chose happened to be from my friends Carmen and Tony. They offered to teach Spanish so I'm excited to spend an hour with them and have the kids learn a little Spanish! The picnic was a great way to spend time with some old friends and meet some new people in the neighborhood! The kids also made some new friends and had a blast playing with the other kids. Here's a few more pictures from the picnic!

Here's part of the group sitting down enjoying some picnic food!

Here's Evan and some of the other kids playing. Evan became fast friends with Kaden who is Matt's son (Matt is the one Evan is running towards) and Evan's already made plans to ride bikes with Kaden!

And here's Emmaline who quickly became friends with Matt's daughter
Haley. The two of them hung out together for a lot of the picnic!

A huge thanks to everyone who came out to the picnic and made it a success. Also thanks to everyone who helped pitch in and clean up. I personally would like to thank Greg for taking the pictures at the picnic. Nico asked if he would and he stepped up and chipped in. Also a big big thanks to Greg also for watching many of the kids over at the playground while many of us were at the picnic area talking Time Bank stuff or just chatting! I'm so lucky to have my husband! He's absolutely wonderful with kids and the kids just seem to gravitate towards him and he goes with it! I think he's definitely earned some Time Bank hours for all his time spent with the kids during the picnic!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Day Of Shopping And Friends

As you probably guessed readers, I did not have the ambition to blog Saturday night. We had a longer than expected day on the road so we were all pretty tired when we got home. We headed out shortly before 10am on Saturday. I wanted to stop at the HomeGoods in Brighton on our way, but since we didn't get out of the house on time we just headed right to my friend Ann's house in Canton. Ann and her husband Jason live in a red house like we do and Evan was sure to point that out the minute we got out of the car. That kid doesn't miss a beat!

When we got there Ann's daughter Sylvia was napping. The kids were a little quiet and shy at first, but it didn't take them long to tear into Sylvia's toys. They played with this toy called a "Polar Coaster" and the kids were in their glory rolling the balls down it for quite some time.
Thanks Sylvia for letting Evan & Emmaline play with your toys. Once the kids got warmed up to their new surroundings (which didn't take too long), they were ready to explore and Evan had lots of questions for Ann & Jason. Ann has a room upstairs that is orange and Evan was all about checking it out. If I haven't told you before, Evan's favorite color is orange. He was loving that room and let us know that now he wants an orange room. Since we have a small mural painted on Evan's wall that's not going to happen for awhile. I'm not ready to paint over it yet! Some day though maybe. To me, orange is one of those colors I would be hesitant to paint because I would be afraid it would be too bright! This orange was not that, and I told Ann she'd have to let me know the color if we ever do paint Evan's room down the road. I think you might need to post a picture of your home office Ann so I can show Evan often because he really did love that room!

After we toured the Luke's upstairs we headed to their newly finished basement. Of course Evan had to check out all parts (storage area included) and this happened to be one of his favorite spots. (I hope you don't mind Ann, I'm borrowing your picture.)

Emmaline enjoyed it as well. This is Sylvia's little nook to play in when she gets a little bigger. It's the perfect size for little ones, and like a little hideout for kids. I told Greg he needs to cut a whole in the wall in our basement and do that under our stairs. I think the kids would be occupied for hours playing in there! I've seen these little under the stairs nooks in a lot of Parade of Homes and there's so many possibilities of how to decorate them for kids.

Ann & Jason grilled burgers and hot dogs for lunch for us which was a real treat. Normally we don't get a good lunch like that on a Saturday. Usually we're just eating PB&J! We also had a delicious pasta salad and fruit, of which Emmaline was totally into the grapes. Of course Emmaline managed to make a mess of her place setting so I'm sorry Ann she got your beautiful place mats so dirty. (Ann had the table set so pretty that I was hoping the kids wouldn't trash it too bad with the food.) Everything tasted great so thanks Luke family for making lunch for us!

After lunch Sylvia woke up and we got to meet her. She's a little doll. The kids loved her and were all over her. We hung out on the patio for a little bit and Em had a blast with the bubbles while Evan chased their dog Tucker around in the yard. Here are the kids having fun! Check out Evan's expression, he was determined to catch Tucker!

A huge thank you to the Luke family for having us over! It was so nice to visit and we had a great time! Thanks also, for answering all of Evan's little questions. (Being in a new place Evan had to ask a million questions when checking things out!) That's a four year old for ya!

After our visit, we headed off to HomeGoods, IKEA, and Trader Joe's. Ann & Sylvia went with us to HomeGoods and IKEA so it was nice to spend a little more time with them. The HomeGoods store was awesome! Love that place! I could spend hours upon hours in there! So much to look at, and thanks to Ann for entertaining Evan while they played with the shield and sword from the toy section while I looked and looked. I found a few things, some lamp shades for one, which Ann spotted for me. I do like them, but I'm trying to decide if I like them with the lamps I had gotten. I'll let you know when I decide. I also found a few other things, this growth chart for Emmaline's room is one of them.

After our shopping excursion at HomeGoods we headed over to IKEA. It was super busy with it being a Saturday, which didn't even dawn on us ahead of time. We hit a few of the departments, not the whole store. We all managed to find a few things and then headed out of there. This too is another great store, and I could spend hours upon hours in there. If you haven't been there, you really must go! Fun, fun, store! Next time we head back I think we're going to have to eat there because they were giving out samples of their Swedish Meatballs and Evan was really liking them. I told him next time we'd get some. By the time we were about finishing up in IKEA, Emmaline was pretty much at her limit and turned into Miss Crankypants. It was understandable though as it was in the middle of her normal nap time. She ended up falling right to sleep when we left there once the car got rolling.

We headed on to Trader Joe's from there. I've only been to Trader Joe's a few times, so this was one stop I really wanted to make. They have some really good things that you just can't find around here, most of which are pretty healthy and organic, AND very reasonably priced! Here's the Trader Joe's we went to.

Here's the inside of what a Trader Joe's looks like.

I just ran in since Em had fallen asleep, but of course I wasn't as fast as I wanted to be. Too many good things to choose from. So Em woke up just as I was checking out. She was not a happy camper, but once we got back on the road she fell back to sleep. We hit the HomeGoods in Brighton on the way home and of course found a few more things. (Ladies, I think you're going to like the bunco gifts when I have September bunco.) I also got some early Christmas shopping done too so that's a bonus!

By the time we left there it was late. We had forgotten that Molly hadn't eaten dinner yet and we needed to get home to let her out so we didn't have time to stop at the outlet mall. We'll probably head back there soon. Now that I know this HomeGoods is in Brighton, it's not all that far so I'm sure to be going there more often! We got home probably about 8:15am that night and Molly was such a good dog while we were gone. I think it was the longest we had ever left her so we weren't sure what we would find when we got home. She hadn't done a thing so that was a relief!

We had a great day, but it was longer than expected like I said. We were all very tired and Em was more than ready for bed so we were unable to make it to the party that night. We were bummed, but I didn't want to expose everyone to a super tired and crabby Emmaline so we thought it was best to stay home. Hopefully Evan can have a playdate soon with Baleigh instead! I'll be back tomorrow to tell you all about our neighborhood picnic!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Busy Busy Busy!

Well this sure has been a busy week and the weekend looks just as busy. Tomorrow we're hitting the road and heading towards the Detroit area, Canton to be exact. I've been trying to make it that way all summer and finally have a day that's going to work. My friend Ann from high school (the one who helped me get blogging), lives in Canton so we're headed to her house for awhile to visit and have lunch. It's been a few years since we've seen each other so I'm very excited to catch up. Plus she's got a new baby, (well new to me since I haven't met her yet) so looking forward to meeting little Sylvia! Then we're off to hit HomeGoods, IKEA, and Trader Joes. None of which are around here so some new shopping places to hit! I'm hoping to find either some lamp shades to go with the lamps I found or some different lamps. Other than that nothing I'm really looking for, but some good deals! Depending on our day, I'd also like to hit the Children's Place outlet in Howell on the way home! They're having a big $2.99 clearance sale and I've got a 15% off coupon and a $20 coupon to use so looks like the kids might be getting a few things. Evan really needs some jeans for school and I think it's time to get little Miss Emmaline some panties to try out when she's around the house. Can you tell I'm ready to stop buying diapers?

Tomorrow night we've got a party to go to at one of Evan's friends house who he went to school with. It's a "Welcome to our new home" party, and I'm sure Evan will be excited to see his friend Baleigh. Hopefully Em gets some sleep in the car during the day so we're able to make the party without a crabby kid!

Then Sunday is the big neighborhood picnic to kick of the Hawk Nest Time Bank. I'm trying to get everything ready today that I need to take for it, so I'm hoping I don't forget anything. That will be an all day thing and the weather looks good for Sunday so that should be a fun time. More than likely with being gone all day tomorrow and during the day Sunday, you probably won't hear from me again until Sunday evening. Unless I have some ambition tomorrow night after a long day, but don't count on it! Have a great weekend everyone whatever your plans include!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Little People Are Back

Emmaline continues to amaze me with her imagination. Yesterday it was putting her babies to sleep with the blankie, today she was playing with the Little People. Remember the Fisher Price Little People? Well today Emmaline gathered ALL her Little People and her baby in her shopping cart and put her purse on her arm and off she went, shouting, "bye bye" and waving her hand. Em circled around the living room and headed over to the stairs. She unloaded all the little people and her baby on the stairs and sat down and started talking to them. Come to find out she was having a party with her baby and Little People. She would tell me party, party. What a silly kid! So here she is having a party on the stairs!

After a few minutes she went and got a book and brought it back to the stairs. She decided she would read to her baby and "friends." Here is Em reading the Belly Button Book!

And another picture still reading. She was really into it! I love these moments as a mom, watching my kids come up with different things!

Silly Emmaline Pics

Yesterday when I went in to get Emmaline up from her nap, I could hear her talking in her room as I stood outside her door. I opened her door and turned on the light to find this...

(Em is sitting to the right in this picture, you can kind of see her leg)

She was saying to me, "babies, babies!" I asked her where her babies were and she pulled back the blanket to show me this...

Too cute, right readers? She was telling me, "babies sleep." Her babies (& bear) were not like this when I put her down for her nap. After she woke up from her nap, she was playing with them and lined them all up and covered them up with the blankie so they could go to sleep. What a kid! (Apparently though she doesn't know you shouldn't put a blankie over the babies faces!) Here's my little peanut playing mother to her babies...

Then last night at dinner we all had turkey burgers. Of course we cut Em's up into small pieces so it's easier for her to eat. Well, she wanted a bun still even though her burger wouldn't fit on there. So she got a bun. First she was just eating the bun plain and she would take bites of her cut up burger with her fork. Then a little while later I noticed her doing something with her bun. She looks cute and normal here doesn't she, just eating her dinner?

Well, what she was eating readers was not! She put her green beans on her bun and was eating it. A green bean burger I guess! This is what she made...

Mmm.... delicious right? NOT! Sorry if I've grossed you out. I just thought it was high time you see what we go through most evenings at dinner time. No, this isn't the first time she's done weird food concoctions. She's dipped watermelon in ketchup, fruit in her refried beans, carrots in mustard, just to name a few. All you mom's out there with little one's, I'm sure you've experienced food issues like this. (You have right? My daughter isn't the only one?) All you mom's out there with babies who aren't yet eating table food, this is what you have to look forward too! So now that you've seen this lovely burger picture, I'm sure I know what everyone is having for dinner tonight!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Meetings, Parties, Picnics, & Work

I'm back readers. I took yesterday off because I've been a busy bee lately. If it involves, a meeting, party, picnic, or work that's where I am lately. Monday night I had a meeting with some of us Hawk Nest Time Bankers trying to finalize some details for a neighborhood picnic we're planning for this Sunday. My friends Nico (the coordinator of our Time Bank) and Susan have taken a lot of time into planning this great event for our neighborhood to get people to come out and socialize, meet new neighbors, and learn more about the Time Bank. Since I'm one of the few who has taken part in the Time Bank, I along with a couple others are helping Nico and Susan with this picnic. It's sure to be a great event for our neighborhood and looking forward to Sunday. We're going to have it at a local park with grilling, games, and fun! I'll fill you in more after the picnic on Sunday.

I've also been trying to plan a neighborhood block party with some of our neighbors. We've decided that since summer is coming to an end and we haven't had any grill outs yet, that we might as well just make it a big bash. It's kind of weird that so many families are going to be around Labor Day weekend, but most of us don't have plans so the block party is planned for that Sunday, September 6th. We're planning to block off one of the streets in the back of the subdivision and have a bunch of tables, grills, food, drinks, and games! There is still a good chunk of our phase in the subdivision that isn't developed so the street we're blocking off isn't going to really block anyone since the three houses on the street are participating in the block party! It's sure to be a fun time!

In between the picnic and block party planning I managed to sneak away last night for a little girl time. My friend Dawn and I went to a Partylite candle party last night. I hadn't ever been to a Partylite party before. My friend Jess down the street is a hostess and it was a kickoff party for the new fall/winter catalog coming out. I didn't buy anything, but both Dawn and I did come home with a prize. Her name was picked for the door prize and she won a set of candle jars. My name was picked for some trivia they were doing. I came home with this pumpkin candle holder. Perfect for the fall season coming up!

Tonight I'm headed to another party, this time and Uppercase Living party. Since I've decided to become a Independent Demonstrator, I've been busy getting my stuff ready to have my own parties. I thought I'd head over to a party Jenny (the girl I signed up under) is doing tonight and just kind of observe how she does a party and learn a few things about what takes place at an UL party. I've been busy trying to get my product order in for the free product I get for signing up. So hopefully I'll have that finished by today and can get it submitted so my order will be here soon. There's just too much to choose from. If you haven't checked out my website readers, you really should. It's so much fun to play with the MyDesign Suite and you can experiment with the different expressions and colors they come in, as well as change the background color to match the wall color in your home. It's fabulous and fun! I'm really excited to get started with parties so if you're interested contact me. My friend Dawn is going to be my first hostess, but if anyone else wants to jump on the bandwagon as a hostess let me know! I'd love to come into your home and show you and your friends/family the great expressions that you can use to decorate your home with!

On top of all that, I've been asked by the Parent Council at Evan's school to be the Library Coordinator for the year. So in my spare time I need to get into school before it starts and get the library cart and binders for each class ready. For those of you who don't know, I was the library mom second semester at Evan's school. Another mom and I rotated between the afternoon classes. Since I've got the experience and Evan is returning to the school this year they asked if I would be the coordinator. I'm sure Evan will be excited that I'll be in there every other week since he loved it last year when I came rolling the library cart in!

So that's been my busy schedule lately. One more thing... I've got September bunco so time to also plan girls night at the Kohuth house! My friend Wesley offered to cohost with me so it will be fun planning another bunco with her! I'll be sure to keep you updated on everything and in the meantime, I should probably get some things done around here! Busy, busy, busy!

Monday, August 17, 2009

MSU Dairy Store

Last night after such a hot day, we thought it would be a good night to head to the MSU Dairy Store for ice cream. Remember we had that yummy sesquicentennial swirl last week at the gardens? Well, it was calling our name again! For those of you not familiar with the MSU Dairy Store, it is located on campus in Anthony Hall. There is also a smaller store in the MSU Union.

There are 32 flavors of ice cream served on a rotating basis, as well as cheese and now eggs can be purchased. They even carry flavors named after all the Big Ten schools such as Badger Cherry Cheesecake, Illini Orange Cream, Maize 'n' Berry, & Purdue Tracks to name a few. Last night between the four of us we had Sesquicentennial Swirl, Blue Moon, Banana Chocolate Chunk, Caramel Swirl, and Final Four Fudge Dribble. I hadn't tried the Banana Chocolate Chunk before and it was VERY good. The Final Four Fudge Dribble had a little too much chocolate for me, but the kids liked it. Here's the little munchkins enjoying their ice cream!

Emme had the banana. I figured if she spilled it would blend in with her shirt! Evan had the caramel because I said no chocolate last night, and if he can't have chocolate, caramel is his next favorite! Don't you just love the decor with the Spartan tables? Well, at least you Spartan fans do! I think I need one of those for the basement! Here's a view of the inside of the store. It's not that big, but it gets the job done of selling ice cream!

Apparently we weren't the only people in the mood for ice cream last night on a hot summer night because it was the hot spot to be. Everyone was out getting ice cream last night! The Dairy Store was busy right before closing time!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Kid Free

And we're off to the next 100 posts! Today was a very unusual day for Greg & I. It's not often that we're kid free and get to go on a little date. Once in awhile if we don't have the kids, usually we're doing things around the house that aren't so fun. Today Greg's mom took the kids for awhile so we had some free time all to ourselves. It was really quite nice. Evan had spent the night at Greg's mom's so we met them for breakfast at Hannah's Coney Island. It has to be one of my favorite breakfast places! The country skillet is fabulous and for those of you in E. Lansing if you ever go there I highly recommend it!

After breakfast both kids went with Greg's mom and we headed off for our half a day with no kids! We didn't really have plans, but it was nice for a change to just be kid free for a little bit. We started off by stopping on campus after breakfast at a Parent2Parent sale. I just heard about it yesterday and wanted to check it out. We ended up finding a few bargains which included seven books, ice skates, and an outdoor playset all for $15! Greg found a pair of iceskates for Evan that were $5. I got the lady to come down to $3 because they're a little big for this winter and I wasn't sure about the size plus Evan's never ice skated before. Then the playset was marked $15 and I got that lady to come down to $10. I've been looking for a slide to put in the backyard for the kids, but haven't been able to find one. This one isn't exactly what I was looking for and is a little small for Ev, but it's a good size for Em. They both can use it though and for $10 I'm not complaining. I can probably eventually sell it for what I paid for it when they do outgrow it. They seemed to enjoy it tonight when they saw it so that's good! Here's my bargain!

After the sale we got home and put this thing together. It wasn't the easiest and Greg wasn't having too much fun in the heat. Then we decided we'd take our movie passes from Christmas that we hadn't used yet and go see a movie. The first time in a LONG time we've been to the movie in general and a movie without kids and not a cartoon! It was actually kind of weird to go into the movie theater, just the two of us! We went to see Funny People with Adam Sandler. It was pretty good. Adam Sandler plays the role of George Simmons, a famous stand-up comedian so there were lots of funny jokes. We thought the movie was a little long and could've cut a few parts out and still been good, but other than that we got a lot of good laughs. There was an older couple down the row from us that I'm not sure what they thought they were going to see in the movie. It had Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen and was rated R so there was sure to be some bad language and sexual humor. After all, it was from the same writers that did 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up. Needless to say they weren't laughing at any of the funny parts and 15 minutes into it they walked out. Oh well, we liked it.

After the movie we went to pick up the kids. Of course Evan wasn't ready to come home so we brought Em home so she could have a nap. It was way past nap time! Em napped for a couple hours, we did some things around the house, and then we met Ev and Greg's mom for dinner to pick up Evan. We went to the Spartan Hall of Fame Cafe. Love this place! It's all MSU decor and the Hall of Fame Salad is delicious! It was nice to have some time to ourselves today and not chasing kids around. Thanks to Greg's mom for watching the kids and for breakfast and dinner! I didn't have to cook today in this heat! Woo Hoo!

Friday, August 14, 2009

100 Posts

Well readers, today marks my 100th post on my blog! Can you believe it? I sure can't. I didn't think I had that much to talk about, but apparently I do. Thanks for hanging in there with me and being so supportive of my blog. I've really enjoyed it, thus far and look forward to hundreds more! Seeing how I'm with two little kids all day everyday, (Don't get me wrong I love them dearly, but the conversations are usually about Spongebob, toys, coloring, etc.) I don't get the chance to have much adult conversation sometimes. This blog has allowed me to do that, as well as share some exciting moments happening with our family to pictures of things the kids have done to sharing some recipes I've made. It gives me a chance to have some "me time" and do something I enjoy- especially talking about my kids and husband because they're the light of my life! Love you Evan, Emmaline & Greg!

So with this post marking 100 I have more exciting news to blog about... no I'm not pregnant! Today I was on Facebook and Lansing Moms Like Me announced another family night out for this month. The first 145 ticket requests receive free tickets for their family to Sesame Street Live at the Breslin Center at MSU at the end of the month. I've been looking online at tickets this week, but it was kind of expensive and didn't really want to spend the extra money right now so this couldn't have come at a better time! I instantly rsvp'd for our tickets and am so excited to take the kids to this! I know they'll love it! Back in March before I was blogging, I took them to the Breslin Center to see Playhouse Disney Live and they had a great time! I haven't told the kids about this yet because I won't hear the end of "When are we going?" so I'll wait until it gets closer! Once again a HUGE thank you to LMLM and especially the coordinator Stephanie for making this possible for families to go! Wooo Hooo!

In other blogging news, my niece Kaite had to have a tonsilectomy today and we're all wishing her a speedy recovery. I know she was really nervous about it, but it all went well and she's home resting. Enjoy the ice cream and getting waited on Kaite! We love ya! Also, today is yet another one of Em's friends birthday! Yes readers, lots of kiddie birthdays this month. This is the last one for awhile. So a big Happy 2nd Birthday to Chloe today! Hope you have a wonderful day. Em and Chloe got to have another playdate this morning so they made a mess of the livingroom and Chloe opened her present from us. Here they are...

...and here are Em, Chloe, & Ev all hugging before Chloe had to leave!

Before I leave you blog readers, thanks again for hanging in there and reading all my babble and thanks to my friend Ann who helped me get started on this blog so I could make it here to 100 posts today! Hope you all have a great weekend. I'm not sure what our plans are yet, but I'm sure to let you know about it in the next few posts! Greg has today and Monday off so he's enjoying a bike ride today. Greg's mom is watching the kids tomorrow for awhile so we can have some free time, and possibly I'd like to head to Grand Haven on Sunday for the day, but that's still up in the air. Enjoy the weather! Summer is coming to an end all too quickly!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ice Cream At The Gardens

Tonight was the Lansing Mom's Like Me "Family Night Out." It took us back to the MSU gardens for yet another visit and included free ice cream from the MSU Dairy Store and activities for the kiddos! I didn't tell Evan about this until this afternoon because I knew he'd keep asking me when we were going. He loves to go to the children's gardens and he loves ice cream! When I told him he asked me if we were going after dinner, and I told him no it would be before dinner. The reaction I got from him was, "Wow mommy, we never get ice cream BEFORE dinner." We had a late lunch so it was all good.

The MSU Dairy Store on campus provided the ice cream and we got to choose from chocolate, vanilla, strawberry sundae, and sesquicentennial swirl. Evan chose the chocolate of course, Em had the strawberry, and Greg and I went for the sesquicentennial swirl which was cake batter ice cream with cake pieces and frosting ribbon. It wouldn't be MSU ice cream if it wasn't green and white so of course the ice cream was white and the frosting ribbon was green. It was delicious and I highly recommend it to those of you readers who are nearby and can visit the Dairy Store! Yum yum! It was so good that Evan had a taste and ended up swapping Greg his chocolate for it. Then of course Em saw the chocolate so had to swap her strawberry with daddy so Greg ended up with the strawberry sundae. Here's the tasty green and white ice cream...

...and here's the kids eating their ice cream!

After we ate our ice cream, there were activities planned for the kids which involved a scavenger hunt. Each kid got a packet with a coloring book, crayons, and a list of items to find on the scavenger hunt. Here's the list of items the kids had to find.

We found quite a few of them, all but five. Had we gone back to one part of the gardens I think we could have found them all, but it was hot and Ev was anxious to get home to ride his bike (more on that in a minute). We had a great time and once again a big thanks to LMLM for hosting another spectacular family night out! Here's a few more pics of the Children's Gardens because you just can't look at enough of this beautiful place! You'll see in the last picture, once again the dance chimes were a hit with my little music lovers!

When we got home we headed out for out walk and Evan has made a new little friend down the street. My friend Jess has a little girl named Grace that is going into first grade. She's learning to ride her bike without training wheels and wanted Evan to teach her. We stopped and tried to help her out a little and Evan was showing her how he could ride his bike so well without the training wheels. I know I haven't talked about Evan and his bike for quite some time, but really folks there's not much new to tell besides Evan thinks he owns the road when riding his bike. We have to remind him that he can't get too far ahead of us and he needs to slow down a little, but this kid truly has no fear on his bike and he has it mastered. We thought Grace's bike was a little too big for her so Evan is loaning his old bike to her for awhile so she can practice on that. While they were on the bikes Em and I hung out across the street with her friend Maddie and Lucia. We got all covered in sidewalk chalk, but the kids had fun so that's all that matters. Lucia and her family were gone to Spain for two months so this was the first time Em has gotten to play with her in quite some time.

After bike riding and playing with chalk we finished our walk and headed home. However not before Evan and Grace were planning a sleep over. Yes, folks my four year old wanted to sleep over at a girls house! We tried to tell Grace that Evan isn't really fond of being away from mom & dad at night, but Evan jumped right in saying he would be fine and could spend the night away from us. I asked him where he would sleep and he said in Grace's room and he'd take his Diego bed (his blowup sleeping bag mattress). He had an answer for everything we said when trying to tell him he had to come home. Oh, I thought this kind of stuff didn't happen for many years to come! Needless to say, he did come home with us and there was no sleeping over at a girl's house. Oh kids, you gotta love them... the things they come up with!

For those of you not on Facebook, I thought I'd share my status with you from today. This is what it said... "My two year old Emmaline was telling her shadow..."no go away," and my four year old Evan was doing an awesome job at subtracting." It was really too funny with Em earlier today when she saw her shadow on the living room floor and she kept trying to move away from it and then she would keep saying, "no go away" over and over. Then my Evan got a new math puzzle today and he was doing some addition and some subtraction which I was really surprised how well he did with the subtraction! I love these kinds of moments with my kids and am glad I'm a parent!