Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pumpkin Carving

Happy Halloween everyone! With just enough time to spare, the pumpkin got carved last night. We kind of forgot about it this week until Evan said something the other day. Last night was the first free night we had, and with Halloween a day away it was time to cut into the pumpkin. We decided to just carve one of our pumpkins since Halloween would be over in a day. Remember Evan's huge pumpkin he won at the school picnic? That's the one we carved. Actually, I should say Greg carved. I really wasn't into cleaning out pumpkin guts and carving at 8:30pm last night.

Evan decided he wanted a spider pumpkin so that's what Greg carved. I just so happened to have a spider pattern in my pumpkin carving book so that worked out good! The kids were super excited and were hovering around daddy as he started hacking into the pumpkin. Of course there wasn't much they could do since daddy was using sharp knives and a drill, but they had fun watching.

"Look at daddy cleaning out the pumpkin guts!"

Em and Evan cheesing while daddy pokes the spider pattern into the pumpkin.

The finished product

The cool spider pumpkin all lit up!

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Great Pumpkin Walk

Last night we headed downtown E. Lansing for the Great Pumpkin Walk, which is trick-or-treat at the local businesses. I couldn't believe how beautiful the weather was. It was absolutely perfect for trick-or-treat. In the low 60's and the kids got by without wearing coats. It was great! We got there right before 5pm when it started and the crowd wasn't too bad. It wasn't too long though before we had only gone a block down Grand River and the crowd quickly was filling the sidewalks. I think every year the crowd gets bigger and bigger.

Greg met up with the kids and I after he got out of work. Some of the stores had someone standing right outside the door with candy, other stores the kids had to go in. Greg and I took turns going in with the kids. I had taken the stroller in case Em didn't want to walk the whole way, but I didn't really need it. Little Miss Emmaline was all about the trick-or-treat this year. She didn't want in the stroller, and was having so much fun going from place to place. She knew exactly what to do too. Of course Evan is an old pro now and he was moving along quite fast, ready to get from one place to the next. Emmaline did a pretty good job keeping up with her big brother. She was so cute when she came out of the stores. She would pull the piece of candy out of her bag to show me each time what she got. Silly girl! Here are my peanuts off to trick-or-treat!

The East Lansing high school theater put on the "Land of Oz" at the local bed and breakfast downtown which was really cool. The bed and breakfast house backs up to an alley and there are bricks in the middle of the road that they "painted" with yellow chalk. Everyone had to follow the yellow brick road up to the backyard. At the entrance, they had students all dressed up as characters from the Wizard of Oz. As you proceeded into the house there were more characters throughout the house. Here's Em getting some candy from Dorothy.

There were lots of different costumes, but this year I didn't really see one that actually stood out as a wow! The costumes were kind of boring I thought. Your typical Spiderman, witches, and vampires. I may be a little prejudice since they are my kids, but I thought Evan and Em had a couple of the cuter costumes. I'm not the only one who thought that though because Em got a lot of compliments and some "look how cute she is" from the people passing out candy and the MSU students participating in "Safe Halloween." Everyone loved Evan's costume too, and once again he was a big hit with the "officials." Last year he was a hit with fireman and policeman in his fireman costume, and this year he was a hit with the policeman costume.

The MSU sororities and fraternities put on "Safe Halloween" for the kids where they kept to participate in games, they have cider/donuts, face painting, a fire truck the kids can sit in, and much more. Here's Evan checking out the fire truck. He was having such a great time. The fireman pretended with him that they were driving to a fire to rescue people. Evan thought this was pretty cool.

Here's Evan with "his" police car!

Here's Em enjoying some free popcorn from the MSU Greek students.

She also provided the entertainment for the students as she danced away to the music they were playing. The MSU students were all whispering to each other, "Look at her, isn't she so cute." She was even turning some heads of the guys, and they were telling me how adorable she was. I think I'll need to be keeping a close eye on her when she gets older! We had a great evening trick-or-treating and can't wait for Halloween night tomorrow! Thanks to the City of East Lansing and the MSU Greek students for providing great activities for the kids!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Family Fun Literacy Night

Do you remember this book from your childhood days?

If you're around my age you probably do. Where The Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak. One of my favorite childhood stories of all time! If you don't have it for your kids, I highly recommend it for the Christmas list! It's always been a hit with kids and even adults. Now that the much talked about movie has hit theaters, the story Where The Wild Things Are is making a big hit once again. I remember the first time we read the book to Evan, he loved it. He's very excited to see the movie which we're hoping to do soon.

Last night Evan's school held a family night which was literacy focused. The MSU child development students organized the event. There were lots of different activities for the kids to do. The main theme was "Where the Wild Things Are," but there were also activities based on some other children's books. When we arrived at school one of the first things the children got to see was "Wild Thing!" Evan was a little apprehensive at first, but after making sure it was just someone dressed up as "Wild Thing" he was fine to go stand next to him.

Greg and I knew ahead of time that there would be someone dressed up, but we just figured it would be some sort of thrown together kind of costume. Much to our surprise the "Wild Thing" really looked like the "Wild Thing!" Very cool costume! I told Greg he needed that costume for trick-or-treat! There were lots of monster activities that the kids got to do. Some which included making "monster munch," monster puppets, and paper cup monsters. Here's the kids doing some of those things.

Following the step by step instructions for making "monster munch."

Evan making his paper cup monster, (he got to draw monsters on paper to go around a cup and then fill the cup with grass seed) which in a week should grow "monster hair."

The monster puppets the kids made. Evan's is on the left, and Em's on the right.
They also had activities to go with the books The Very Hungry Caterpillar, We're Going On A Bear Hunt, and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. Here's Emmaline and then Evan doing The Very Hungry Caterpillar activity. Evan liked this one since his student teacher was helping out.

The kids had a great time. Evan was excited too that he got to see some kids from his class. Abby and Grace were there so of course that brought big smiles to his face. Emmaline was totally into all the activities too. She acted like she was one of the students and just made herself at home! It was a nice family evening for all of us. Thanks MSU Child Development Students!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It's Almost Halloween!

Can you believe it's already October 28th, and in a few short days it will be Halloween and then quickly it turns to November? Where do these months go? It seems like I was just talking about how it was September 1st, and here it is the end of October? The kids are excited about Halloween and Em is learning that she has to say trick-or-treat if she wants candy, and thank you after she gets it. So we'll see how she does come trick-or-treat time. Our Halloween will start a little early. Tomorrow E. Lansing has the Great Pumpkin Walk which is trick-or-treat at the downtown businesses. Then the sorority/fraternities also have Safe Halloween where kids can get candy and there are different Halloween activities going on. It's nice to be able to get a little use out of the costumes instead of just one night.

This year Evan is going to be a S.W.A.T. policeman. He's very excited about this costume. He picked it out all by himself. After we got it he wanted to wear it around the house all the time, and I eventually had to pack it away so it wouldn't get ruined before Halloween. Em is going as my little 50's girl. I really didn't know what she was going to be this year, (or Evan for that matter) and then I ran across this outfit for Em at HomeGoods Labor Day weekend. I tried it on her at the store and absolutely fell in love with how cute the poodle skirt looked on her. I was a little weary about buying it though because I wasn't sure if it was going to fit her by Halloween. Of course there was only one and since HomeGoods isn't around us, I had to make a decision that day. I went ahead and got it and thought I'd risk it. I'd squeeze her in it one way or another! I tried it on her the other day to see how it fit now, and we're in good shape because it fits her just fine! Yeah!

I thought it would be fun to post pictures from past years of the kids in their Halloween costumes.

2005- Evan' first Halloween. He was a pumpkin...

...and a bumble bee!

2006- Evan's 2nd Halloween as a Scarecrow!

2007- Emmaline's 1st Halloween! I didn't dress her up since she was only 3 months old, so she wore her Halloween outfit.

2007- Evan's 3rd Halloween as a Pirate! This is still one of my favorite costumes on him!

2008- Em's 2nd Halloween (her 1st official to dress up) My cute little ladybug! Loved, loved, loved, her as a little ladybug!

2008- Evan's 4th Halloween as a Fireman. He was the hit downtown E. Lansing trick-or-treat with the official Firemen!

You'll have to wait, not too much longer, for pictures from this year. I'm hoping Em cooperates a little better this year for pictures than she did last year! I can't wait to see what all the little kiddies in the neighborhood are going to be!

Monday, October 26, 2009

I Wanna Be Like Daddy

Yesterday Evan got on this kick about being like daddy. He came up from the basement with his wallet and cell phone (Greg's old cell phone). He asked Greg to put the wallet in his back pocket because he wanted to be like daddy. He even knew that daddy's wallet goes in the right back pocket so that's where he wanted his to go. After he had the wallet in his pocket like daddy's, he had to put his cell phone in his pocket too. That one he could do himself. Then he went to the key rack and got his play keys off the rack and he was off to work like daddy. He was pretending to do everything that daddy does and would get his phone out of his pocket and make a phone call. Then he pretended he went to the store, got out his wallet, and got his "credit card" out like daddy does to pay. Then when he got home from the store he hung up his keys, and put his wallet and phone on the counter like daddy does sometimes when he comes home. This went on for quite some time.

First thing this morning after Evan got dressed, once again he wanted the wallet and phone in his pockets. He wanted to know what daddy had for breakfast so he could have the same thing. Before school he tried to tell me he was going to be very careful with his wallet at school. I had to explain to him that he couldn't take the wallet, keys, and phone to school. He was bummed because when daddy goes to work he can take those things. After explaining that school doesn't let kids take toys in, and it would be safer to keep the items at home so they don't get lost, he said he'd just get them when he got home from school. Sure enough the minute we got home from school he hadn't forgotten and made sure everything was once again in the pockets. What a kid!

After Greg got home from work tonight, he had gone upstairs to change clothes and came down with his sweats and a t-shirt on. When Evan saw daddy he said, "Oh oh daddy, I'm going to go get my sweats on too!" Evan ran upstairs and came back down with sweats and a white t-shirt like Greg's. He said daddy, "I don't have sweats just like those so I put these on." He had put his gray sweats on which Greg had gray sweats on, but Evan's were just a lighter shade of gray. Here's Greg and his "mini me."

There's no doubt that Evan looks like Greg. From the minute he was born, everyone said Evan looked like Greg. He still does! I think Evan choosing to be like his daddy is a great choice. Greg's a wonderful role model for his kids, and I'm enjoying Evan imitating his daddy! It's really cute!

After dinner, Evan had to make a phone call. He went into the living room and was being all giggly and laughing. We asked him who he was calling and he said he was calling Karin from school. Apparently the little crush is still going on. Now we've moved on to "calling" girls. Oh boy! I'm convinced I've got my hands full in the years to come! Here's Ev trying to hide while making his phone call.

We'll see what tomorrow brings from Evan wanting to be like daddy. I'm sure he has his own ideas brewing already!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Good And The Bad

Well after a long weekend I thought it was time to catch you up. There was a lot of good and a lot of bad that made up the weekend. Friday I was able to get some more cleaning done in the morning, and then Greg took the afternoon off so I was able to run some errands kid free and Molly went to the groomers to get a much needed bath and trim. Saturday brought about another trip to the cider mill. My sister, niece, and mom came up and we made our annual family trip to the cider mill to get some donuts and take some pictures. We like to get Evan and Em's pic with their cousin Kaite every year. Unfortunately this year the weather wasn't the greatest, as it was cold and wet. It did manage to stop raining enough for us to snap some quick pictures outside before we went inside to get our donuts. Here's a few of the shots we took.

While we were at the cider mill Greg and his buddy Rich went for a bike ride. It was cold and wet, but they're trying to get some riding in before their big end of the year race in Traverse City in November. Unfortunately the wet roads were not Greg's friend on Saturday. The guys road their mountain bikes instead of their road bikes since it was raining. Greg thought this would be better with the wet pavement. However they came upon a big stick in the road and Rich was on one side of Greg and there were cars coming on the other side of Greg so he didn't have anywhere to go. He rode over the branch and ended up wiping out. The result was ripped bike pants, and three lovely scraped up wounds on his leg. Not a pretty site. Hopefully it will heal in time for the race in a couple of weeks!

Then came the game Saturday night. A night game which is pretty rare for MSU. It was a home game and we were playing the undefeated Iowa Hawkeyes. It had to be one of the most boring games I've watched in a long time. It went back and forth a field goal per quarter all the way until the end of the fourth quarter with just a couple minutes left, MSU pulls out one of the greatest trick plays of all time. This sets up MSU for a nice touchdown bringing the score to 13-9. It looked as if MSU was going to pull of a great upset. Unfortunately, it's happened way too many times this year and quite frankly I'm sick of it. MSU is always getting shit on by the refs and end up getting the short end of the stick. Think what you want, but this is my blog and I'm going to tell you how I feel. I don't care if you like MSU or not, and don't say it's because I'm a MSU fan. It's true, even if you're not a MSU fan because it's happening all too often in college football. I'm sick of football no matter who it is, whether it's the Big Ten, the SEC, the Pac-Ten, it doesn't matter, in too many cases it ends up being the refs who win the game for the team they want to see prevail, NOT the team winning the game. It happened to Indiana when they played Michigan, it happened to Michigan when they played Iowa, and it's happened way too many times for MSU, especially Saturday night.

Last time I checked football was a contact sport, yes refs CONTACT. Meaning one football player can touch another football player. It's not tennis and one guy is on this side and the other on that side. For crying out loud football is about running, sacking, hitting, tackling! Exactly what MSU did and what you the refs saw at the end of the fourth quarter until suddenly the guy was a little shook up and hurt and you the refs wait 30 SECONDS to throw a flag. Are you kidding me? As a professional in your job, you don't wait 30 seconds to throw a flag, you just don't! That led Iowa to getting three points with a field goal, which should of never happend. You're welcome Iowa, from the refs. Then heaven for bid an MSU player touches the oh so delicate pansy of an Iowa football player with seconds left in the game and MSU intercepts the ball. Game over. But wait, the Big Ten needs to have an undefeated team so the refs throw the flag and let Iowa have one more chance. Just like the damn ND-USC game a couple weeks ago, with the refs trying to give ND as many chances as they can. GIVE ME A BREAK! ENOUGH! Stay out of the the freakin' game and let the players win, not you the refs! Last time I checked it was one team versus another, NOT two teams and the refs on the schedule! So since the delicate pansy football player got touched, even though he is playing FOOTBALL, it's a penalty on MSU and the interception is taken away to give Iowa one more chance in which they score a touchdown with no time left. Those MSU players deserved that win and got cheated out of it AGAIN! I feel so bad for those players. My heart breaks for them. All the Iowa fans think it's sweet they win to stay undefeated, but it would've been just as sweet for MSU to mess up an undefeated season for Iowa like they did for UofM. All you Iowa fans think you're going to the Rose Bowl if you're undefeated at the end of the season, well guess what? If you're undefeated hello, you won't be going to the Rose Bowl. You'll more likely be playing in a bowl better than that. Here's to my MSU football players in saying no matter what, I will ALWAYS cheer for you!

Today brought about a nice relaxing day, and I was even able to sneak in an afternoon nap. It's been ages since I've taken a nap and it felt good. Then earlier this evening it was nice to spend some time with the girls for bunco. My friends Susan and Carla co-hosted bunco this month and we had some tasty eats and a fun time. I walked away with three bunco prizes- a candle, a fall leaf dish, and an appetizer cookbook. I'm adding to my collection of bunco cookbooks so now I've got the salad, soup, and appetizer cookbooks. I was told I'm going to have to have everyone over to try out some recipes! I think I need a drink book though to go with the others because some tasty drinks are a must with the eats! We ended up only playing one round of bunco because of all the baby news that was announced. Three of the ladies at bunco last night announced they were pregnant! It was so exciting. I knew about a couple of them, but one was a surprise. Congrats to Carmen, Carla, and Amy! They're all due in April so come spring, the neighborhood is going to be booming with babies! It was an early bunco night since it was on Sunday, but nonetheless it was a good time. A much needed girls night after such a depressing Saturday! Thanks Susan and Carla for the bunco invite!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Little "Miss"chievous

Emmaline, Emmaline, Emmaline! From morning until night she was one little handful today. She was full of mischief and she knew it. Every time I caught her doing something she would give me this little smirk. It didn't matter what I tried to do today, the minute I left the room she was into something. And if I didn't leave the room, she left the room and was into something! It was nonstop all day. I should probably tell you what she wasn't into instead of what she was into because it would be shorter. Ha! Instead I'll just share some pics of some of the things I caught her doing throughout the day. Today I was trying to clean our laundry room. It's kind of been a catch all for stuff, and it was long overdue. Plus we had the dog crate in there and I wanted it out of there. I'd go in there for a few minutes and come back out and this is what I found one time.

She had gotten into the lazy susan which she's never done and got out my hand mixer and a bunch of paper plates. Later on I ran the laundry basket upstairs and come right back down, and she's in the sippy cup/water bottle drawer. (She often goes to this drawer and thinks it's funny to get all the cups out and put the wrong lids on them.)

Apparently she was having so much fun getting cups out of the drawer, she didn't know she was losing her drawers! I quietly walked into the kitchen because I could hear she was in the drawer. She didn't know I was watching her until she heard the camera when I took the picture. Then at lunch time I went in the kitchen to make lunches, and a minute later I looked in the living room and saw this.

She had for some reason put her baby's shoes on the blinds. I'm guessing because she knows she isn't supposed to touch the blinds she thought it would be funny! I saw the shoes, but I didn't see Em. As I walked closer to the blinds I find this.

Look carefully, she's behind her learning town. She was hiding behind there with her toys. At least she was being good right? At dinner time Greg and I were making dinner and Em kept coming in the kitchen. We told her she needed to stay away from the stove because it was hot. She went back in the living room only to get into the container of wipes which she knows she's not supposed to. However, it was cute that she got the wipes to change her baby's diaper.

Then once the diaper was all changed, she finally did something that didn't involve being naughty. She put the baby in her booster seat so it was ready for dinner. :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Beautiful Fall Day

Today it was a beautiful fall day! I think it made it up to 70 here. We took advantage of the nice weather and got out for a walk before dinner. I wanted to make sure we got out before it got dark. The minute I mentioned going for a walk the kids ran to the back door! Let's just say they were a little excited to get outside. Evan was out the door and had his bike helmet on in no time. It was nice to get outside and see a little life in the neighborhood. We stopped and chatted with a few friends and enjoyed seeing the fall colors now that the leaves are really changing! Here's a couple pics I took on our walk.

This is the entrance to our neighborhood. Aren't the trees lining the road beautiful? I love the pop of bright colors, while still seeing some green leaves.

I love the bright red color of the leaves on this tree!

Here's my little bike rider loving the chance to ride his bike!

Unfortunately it doesn't look like we're going to have any more nice days this week. Rain is in the forecast for the next three days and the temps are going to be cooler. Bummer. Oh well, I guess that's what happens when you live in Michigan. I was just about to pack away the flip flops on Sunday, but I didn't get around to it. Good thing because I got to wear them one more time!

Here's one more picture I thought I'd share. Em had a playdate with her buddy Chloe finally. It had been a couple weeks. I thought all the kids looked cute dressed in their fall colors!

My Little Charmer

It's almost the end of October and I haven't had a chance to get into Ev's class and volunteer yet. I need to do that soon. I've been in there a lot for library cart, but not just to volunteer in the class for the afternoon. Greg went in last week so I'm going to try in the next couple weeks to get in there. I've gotten to know some of the kids doing library, but don't know them all that well. I do know a few of them a little more than others from listening to Evan talk about who he's played with in class. There's a couple girls in Evan's class that he's become pretty good friends with (Anna, Abby, & Grace) and when we ask him about them he gets this big smile on his face, laughs, and gets a little shy. It's really cute. It's like he's got this little crush on the girls, but doesn't want to say so.

Today when I was in the car line at school waiting to pick Evan up, I see him doing something. So tonight I tell Greg to ask Evan what he was doing while he was waiting for mommy to pick him up. Here's how the conversation went...

Greg: Evan what were you doing outside while you were waiting for mommy to pick you up?
Evan: Nothing.
Greg: Were you holding a girls hand? (Yes, this is what he was doing.)
Evan: No.
Me: Evan (questioning him)
Evan: No, I wasn't. (giggling)
Greg: Were you holding Anna's hand?
Evan: Noooo. (laughing)
Greg: Were you holding Abby's hand?
Evan: Noooo, I wasn't holding hands. (giggling and laughing like crazy)
Me: Evan, I saw you holding Abby's hand while I was waiting for you.
Evan: WHAT? (Surprised, thinking how the heck did mommy see that?)
Greg: Were you holding Abby's hand while you were standing at the gate?
Evan: Yes. (All giggly) She just likes me. We sit next to each other. I like to hold her hand and she likes to hold my hand. (all while still being giggly)

It was the funniest thing. I wish I would've had a video camera going. He was a little embarrassed yet in a way was happy to be telling us he likes Abby. We asked him if she is his girlfriend and he quickly said no. I thought I had some years before all this started, but apparently not because he had a little crush last year and here we are again this year. Should I be concerned it's starting at such a young age? I think I definitely have a little charmer on my hands!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Binki Success

It's now been eight days and we've successfully gotten rid of the binki. Yeah for Emmaline! We didn't even give in once and give back to her. Yeah for us! Now I'm wishing we would've done it sooner than we did because it actually went a lot easier than I thought it would. While we did have some crying the first couple days it was only for a maximum of five minutes. I expected long nights of crying and Em waking up in the middle of the night looking for binki and crying. My little princess proved me wrong and became such a big girl right away without her binki. The only time she really thought about it was when she got in bed for nap or bedtime and she would point to her mouth. We quickly reminded her that she was a big girl and didn't need it, and I think she knew too that she didn't need it. I was a little worried that she might start sucking her thumb once the binki was gone since I've heard of that happening. So far so good though, no thumb sucking. While I did find her the first time she woke up from nap without binki with her fingers in her mouth, that was the extent of it. I think she was just trying to be silly more than actually thinking about sucking on her fingers or thumb.

After I took her binki away and made her go cold turkey, I actually felt a little bad. I know you might think, why would I feel bad for trying to break a two year old from a binki? Well, when you think about it, this is something she's had for two years. Not the same binki mind you, because that would definitely be gross! She's had quite a few different binkis. However, she's always known that binki goes to bed with her and binki is what she goes to for some "comfort" even when mommy and daddy try to comfort her. Come to think of it, it was probably pretty devastating to her to suddenly have it taken away. Imagine losing one of your favorite things. You wouldn't be too happy would you? She was just missing one of her favorite things. Some of the looks on her face when I would walk out of the room at night were like, "Uh something isn't right here" or "I know you're not going to leave me here without my binki." After a few days though, she started to not even mention it. If she did it was for a quick second and then we'd sing a song and rub her face and she was fine.

This weekend we even had to take binki away from her baby. She's got this one baby that had a binki connected to it. She said "Baby a big girl" and wanted her baby's binki cut off. So we did and she threw it in the trash like she did with her own binki. I guess she figures if she has to be a big girl with no binki, then her baby has to be a big girl without her binki too. All things considered, I'd have to say my little girl handled this transition quite well. I'm very proud of her for overcoming it so quickly. And for the first time, today she woke up from her late nap in a more than normal extremely happy mood! She didn't nap until 4pm today and about 7pm Greg went to wake her up because we wanted to make sure she would go to sleep tonight. Usually when we wake her from a nap she's a little cranky, but not tonight. When he brought her down, she was all smiles and a happy little camper. She walked over to me and said, "No mommy" while she pointed to her mouth. I said, "No, no more binki." She shook her head and said, "No binki, big girl!" I think she's accepted it, and is fine with no more binki. Way to go Emmaline! You are mommy's big girl! Love you!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Morning Fun With The Camera

This morning after I posted pics from the previous post, I had my camera in hand after I unplugged it from the computer, and the kids were asking me to take their picture. So I started snapping away and actually came away with some very cute shots of the kids together. This is a little surprising because it's rare that I get them both looking and smiling at the same time. Usually one is not looking or someone is crying because they don't want their picture taken together. Of course I get the good pictures when I'm just messing around. When I plan to take their picture and get them all dressed up the result is a disaster. Not today, they were all smiles for mommy! So here are the results of my morning fun with the camera!

Love you brother!

Love you sister!


Aren't we cute mommy?

How cute are these kiddos...cute!

Weekend Wrap-Up

Wow readers, the weekend got away from me before I got the chance to blog last night. Sorry about that, but not to worry I'll give you the quick run down now. I feel good that I accomplished a few things over the weekend. It started on Friday when I got a little ambition to do some "extra cleaning." This wasn't the run of the mill dust and vacuum. I decided it was time to switch things up a little and move the furniture around for the fall/winter season. I know some people don't move their furniture around ever, and that's o.k. I never did in our old house because there really was only one way the furniture would fit. However since we've been in this house, I often find myself moving the furniture around. There's a few possibilities of how the furniture can be arranged so usually a few times a year I like to change it around. If you come over, you'll see that the living room isn't always the same. So with moving furniture comes cleaning behind the furniture. You know, the places you never really get to all the time. So dust bunnies and all (or more like dust Molly's since I swept up pretty much another dog), there was some good cleaning going on. I even reorganized the kids toys, swapped out some books in the book basket to give them a change in reading for awhile, and weeded out a few toys that don't get played with anymore. I then moved into the kitchen and wanted to rearrange some items above the cupboards so while doing that I decided I might as well take the stuff down and wash it. Yeah me for being on a roll!

Saturday didn't bring about much cleaning since it was a lazy day of watching football and running a couple errands. I did manage to get in a couple loads of laundry and went through a pile of papers on the kitchen counter. Sunday, I was back to being productive and while Greg went for a bike ride I cut the grass one last time and reorganized some things in the garage so we could get the lawn mower stored away for the winter and bring down the snow blower from the shelf. Ugh! I don't even want to think about a bunch of snow. Yuck! Then I finally loaded up my garage sale stuff to take to Goodwill. I know, I know, I'm a little procrastinator and have just been putting it off. After an afternoon of working outside, I managed to have enough energy to make a homemade chicken pot pie. My friend Ann made this pot pie a couple weeks ago, and I've been wanting to make it because it sounded absolutely delicious! And it was, if I do say so myself! I even cut up a rotisserie chicken for it. Thanks Ann for posting the recipe on your blog. It was the perfect dinner for a Sunday evening! As if all that weren't enough, I decided after dinner it was time to move some more furniture. I moved the dining room around to switch things up a little more. After that it was low key for the rest of the night. My friend Dawn came over and we finally finished up her UL open house orders. I'm excited to see what she does with her product when she gets it! I know she and everyone who ordered are going to be happy with their expressions! Don't forget I'm still looking for hostesses if anyone is interested! I'm also happy to help you with any orders or questions you may have about UL. You can check out my website at If you're stumped on what to get someone for Christmas, UL is a great idea for a gift!

So that was our weekend in a nutshell. Here's a few pictures I took over the weekend of my kiddos being cutie patooties!

Em Saturday morning when we went in and got her out of bed. She was sitting in her crib talking to her babies and stuffed animals that she had lined up all along the edge. What a kid!

Evan got some new long underwear and wore them to the parade Friday night. Then he liked them so much he wore them to bed. Saturday morning before he got dressed he comes up from downstairs and put two balls under the shirt to make it look like he was a tough football player.

Then he had to put his jersey on to really look like a football player. His sister thought this was so funny, a little while later she went and got a ball from the toy basket and put under her shirt. However her's was in the front so it looked like she was pregnant. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture.

Now that the furniture was moved around, Evan found a new spot to watch his DVD player. Apparently it was comfortable back there because he stayed there for most of the movie!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Italian Chicken Soup

Here's the recipe for the new soup I made yesterday. I got the recipe from the soup cookbook I won at the last bunco. This is the cookbook everyone was fighting over. I have to acknowledge that my awesome friend Carla brought this awesome gift for bunco! Thanks Carla, now I've got lots of new recipes to try!

  • 1lb. boneless chicken breasts , cut into thin strips
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 4oz. dried vermicelli
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 Tbsp milk
  • 6oz. canned corn kernels, drained
  • salt and pepper
  1. Place the chicken in a large pot and add chicken stock and cream. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.
  2. While that is simmering, boil pasta for 10-12 minutes. Drain pasta well and keep warm.
  3. Season soup with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Mix cornstarch and milk together until a smooth paste forms. Then add to soup.
  5. Add corn and pasta and heat thoroughly.
Note: The recipe doesn't say to cook the chicken before, but I did. I thought it should be cooked before added. Serves 4- Enjoy!

I forgot to take a picture of the soup and by the time I remembered it was gone! So here's a picture I took of the picture in the cookbook!

Friday, October 16, 2009

MSU Homecoming Parade

Tonight we had a great time at the MSU homecoming parade. While it was a little chilly... 45 degrees (it got cooler as the sun went down), we were all bundled up and tried to stay as warm as possible. I can't complain because the rain held off and it wasn't as bad as it's been in years past! The parade theme this year was "We've Always Been Green" and promoted environmentally green initiatives. The floats were made by using recycled materials and there were lots of different types of materials used. From pop cans and laundry soap bottles to newspapers and boxboard. The crowd seemed bigger this year because the streets were packed solid on both sides up and down the whole parade route! The kids had a blast and really enjoyed the parade. Evan had no problem going for the candy this year. Last year he was a little hesitant, but not this year! We met up with my friend Jessica and her family. Evan had fun with her kids, Grace and Matthew, collecting candy and enjoying the bands. I'm going to keep this part of the post short because I've got lots of fun pictures to share! Some I'll post here and the rest I'll post a link where you can find the whole album.

All bundled up and waiting for the parade to start.

Evan and Daddy trying to stay warm.

The parade always begins with Spartan Marching Band! Em absolutely loved when the band started playing. She was clapping like crazy! (Oh how the color guard brings back memories of my high school marching band days!)

It wouldn't be a MSU parade without Sparty the greatest college mascot around!
The Izzo family- we used to joke that his daughter was mini Lupe (his wife's name) and his son was mini Mateen,(his son's middle name is Mateen, after Mateen Cleaves) but not so much anymore... they've definitely grown up!

The mens b-ball team that will be headed to the Final Four this year! Woo Hoo!

The fish float was made out of laundry detergent bottles.

Cool airplane float!

The parade brought a little humor about mid way through. One of the horses left behind a little something not so pretty right in front of us so we all got a kick out of watching people step in horse dung as spectators were trying to warn them, "watch your step!" After the parade Evan's school had a post parade gathering with cider, donuts, and hot chocolate. Evan got to play with a few friends from school so he was excited! It was nice to warm up with some hot chocolate. Little Miss Emmaline was all about the donuts and we caught her trying to sneak a third donut after her two she already gobbled up! Thank goodness they were only donut holes!

By the time we got home it was after 8pm and we hadn't eaten dinner yet. I was so glad I had decided to make soup earlier in the day because it definitely hit the spot tonight after being out in the cold. I tried a new soup tonight- Italian Chicken Soup which turned out great so I'll post the recipe soon! Click here for the rest of the pictures!