Monday, February 28, 2011

Family Night Out

Last Thursday we had a family night out. I ran across a post on a MSU Facebook page on Wednesday, that the MSU Credit Union was giving away free tickets to the Women's basketball game on Thursday. The promo was two free tickets per member. Although Greg and I are both members and could have gotten four tickets, we only needed two because the kids get in free to women's basketball games. They're in the Junior Spartan Club which we signed them up for last fall when we got football tickets. They have a membership card which gets them into several sporting events like women's basketball, volleyball, baseball, and a few more.

We wanted to take them to a women's basketball this season, but never got around to it. I was so glad I ran across this promo and we didn't have anything going on that we could go. It was the last home game of the season which meant it was senior night. On top of that the women's basketball team clinched the 2011 Big Ten Title so they presented the trophy that night too. The kids were very excited to go. Here they are all decked out in their Spartan attire ready to cheer on the lady Spartans!

It was a fun game to go to and a great family night out! The Spartans played hard and it was back and forth the whole game. Unfortunately they lost to OSU, but it didn't matter all that much because they still clinched the Big Ten title outright! The first time in school history. So proud of the team and coaches on a great season which isn't over yet. Tourney time will hopefully prove to be good for the lady Spartans! I have to give kudos to the women's basketball coach, Suzy Merchant. After only four years as head coach at MSU she got a Big Ten Title, and she did it only five months after giving birth to her little baby boy! I have one last picture to share of my little Emmaline. Bless her little heart she clapped and cheered the whole way through. I've never seen her so into a game before. It was awesome! That's my Sparty girl!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

You may have noticed that off to the right hand side I've started posting my birthday wish list. I will be adding some items over the next week so it's complete by the first of the month. I know you all are eager to start shopping for my birthday! LOL. It's just like the Christmas list so you can click on the image to find out more about the item.

Yesterday I said, if Evan wasn't off school for President's day then he would have been off for a snow day. Well, our weekend got extended a little bit more this morning when the phone rang at 5.40am. It was school calling saying no school today. I figured we must have gotten a lot of snow and was afraid to look outside. I did though and to my surprise just a dusting of snow. Most schools were closed, and I'm guessing it was due to roads not cleared still and the ice. Evan got to sleep in, and we all hibernated inside today in our sweats. It was nice to have an extra day to our already long weekend. Now it will be back to school tomorrow, and I'm going to be all messed up on my days.

Now that I have my KitchenAid, I feel like I should be putting it to use. So yesterday I made some homemade cinnamon raisin bread. My friend Jess posted the recipe on Facebook a couple weeks ago and I've been meaning to make it ever since. I finally got around to it yesterday, and it turned out awesome. Very easy and very yummy! The recipe is from Taste of Home, and I highly recommend it. I enjoyed it for breakfast this morning with my coffee. I told Jess if I ever got around to making it, I'd bring her some. The recipe makes two loaves so I took her down some last night and she liked it too. Here's the recipe for your baking pleasure!

Photo: Courtesy of Taste of Home


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, 1-1/2 cups sugar, soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, buttermilk and oil. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in raisins. Combine cinnamon and remaining sugar; set aside.
  • Spoon half of the batter into two greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pans. Sprinkle with half of the reserved cinnamon-sugar; repeat layers. Cut through batter with a knife to swirl.
  • Bake at 350° for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Yield: 2 loaves (12 slices each).

Note: I would add a little more raisins next time. Greg and I both thought it could use a little more. Also, the recipe even included the nutritional facts so I've included them for you below!

Nutrition Facts: 1 slice equals 204 calories, 5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 18 mg cholesterol, 231 mg sodium, 36 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Not Again!

I'm so missing last week right now. I mean really, the 50 degree weather we had was AWESOME! The snow was pretty much all melted. It was nice to see the grass again, even if it was dead brown grass. I was loving not having to put boots and all the heavy winter garments on the kids. Ahhhh, spring is here, I really wanted to believe. Then the word was out Saturday that a winter storm was coming. Really, not again? It was supposed to be 3-5 inches so I figured that's not horrible. Well, about 2pm yesterday it started to snow, and snow, and snow, and snow. It didn't stop for hours. The nice brown grass quickly turned white. By this morning we had gotten 9.4 inches. Yuck, yuck, yuck! I know I didn't mind the last snow storm, but after it being 50 for two days, it's really hard to accept 9.4 inches of snow even if it's February in Michigan. I'm pretty sure it would have been a snow day had Evan had school today. Most school were closed around here though since it's President's Day! I sure hope this is the last of big snow storms. I'm really ready for spring!!!!

We didn't do a whole lot last week. Friday night I got to go out with Jess for a little girl time. We hit up Jimmy's down the street for a couple drinks. It was nice to catch up and have some adult time without kids interrupting. Saturday afternoon Jess and I did a little shopping for some more items for her house. Later that night we headed down to her house and the kids got to play for awhile with her kids. Us adults had some adult beverages and played Mad Gab and Apples to Apples. It was a fun evening. I hadn't played Mad Gab before, but boy was that fun. It's even a little more interesting once you've consumed a few Kool-Aid martinis! The guys watched the MSU game, which the Spartans got a "W." I sure hope they're making a comeback before March madness! Thanks Jess for having us over. I love all your furniture we picked out too. Looks great! That wraps up the latest around here. I've got a few recipes to post so be looking for those soon!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! Here's my two little Valentine's!

Since it's Valentine's Day that means Valentine party at school today. Evan has been so excited about his party at school since last week when we did his Valentine's. We had gone to Target last week, and he picked out his Valentine's. He chose sports Valentine's to give to all his classmates. I was a little disappointed in the Valentine selection. While there was everything from Hello Kitty to Toy Story to dinosaurs and cats & dogs, there was something about them that I just couldn't put my finger on until we got home and opened the box. Evan knows no different really, but boy oh boy have Valentine's changed since I was in the school. They used to be cute cards with an envelope. Nowadays, Valentine's are a teeny tiny card that barely has enough room to write on. These are the one's Evan picked out. They are 3-D sports. To get an idea of the size, they break apart so there's one sport per card- i.e. the basketball is one, the tennis ball is one, etc. Yeah they're little. Some Valentine's came with cheap suckers, but we didn't get those kind. Evan gave tootsie pops with his.

He made his own valentine for his teacher which I thought he did a great job on! Here it is!
The school party was fun. Evan's teacher, Mrs. Mills, always has great themed centers for the kids to do. I volunteered for the party so it was fun to see all the kids in their red or pink and participate in the different centers. I took cupcakes in for the party which were a huge hit. They came out pretty cute if I do say so myself. Take a look and you decide!

Here's the kids at all the different Valentine centers. There was a gift bag center where the kids got to decorate a bag. Then there was a gift box center where the kids had to decorate little boxes to put their picture and hugs & kisses in with a poem to take home to mom & dad. There was also a bead center to make necklaces, a candy heart graphing center, a heart weaving center, a heart dice game, and a heart coloring center. It was a sea of red in the classroom! The kids were so cute!
When we got home from school the kids were eager to open their Valentine goodies. Here they are opening their stuff from mom and dad!
They loved their goodies, especially the M&M's. They take after their momma with M&M's! Thanks to Grandma & Grandpa for their Target gift cards & t-shirts. Also, thanks to Ya Ya for the movies, money, and chocolates! Greg and the kids got me a pretty PINK tulip plant and we had a nice dinner. Thanks to my hubby for making us heart shaped pancakes for breakfast too! I'd say it was another successful Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I love the color pink! I always have, and I'm pretty sure I always will. I'm a girly girl so it's pretty much a given that I like pink! I like anything pink, from pink shirts, pink shoes, pink purses, and pink nail polish, to pink cupcakes, pink flowers, pink balloons, you get the idea! I always longed to have a little girl so I could do everything in pink. A pink bedroom, pink clothes, pink hair accessories, etc. So when I was pregnant with Emmaline and found out I was having a girl, I was thrilled. After having a boy first and everything was blue, I was definitely ready for some pink! To this day I still love dressing my little girl in pink. I think she looks great in pink, especially a bright pink! Emmaline loves the color pink too so she definitely gets that from me! I love all shades of pink and all things pink (well unless it's something super gaudy), except one thing.... pink eye!

When "pink" showed up at our nest on Sunday, it was one time I didn't want anything to do with the color pink! The pink eye came out of nowhere. Greg and Evan went to take stuff to the MSU recycling place and then made a run to Sam's and by the time they got back I noticed Evan's eye was watering. When I looked closer it was a little reddish/pinkish and there was some green goop in the corner of it. I wiped his eye with a tissue and didn't think too much of it. As the day went on, I began to notice that there was a little more going on than a watery eye. By Sunday night, I was pretty much convinced that he had pink eye. I was thinking, I couldn't send him to school if that's what it was, but I didn't want him to miss school after there was just two snow days last week! By bedtime Greg and I decided that we'd wait until morning to decide after seeing how his eye was when he woke up.

Monday morning I went in to wake Evan up, and I expected his eye to be matted shut and all crusty. To my surprise it wasn't as crusty as I thought it would be, but it was a little and had a bunch of goop in it. His whole right eye was pink on the eyelid and his eye was pink. His face was a little puffy on the right side too. I love my kid dearly, but he really did look awful. I knew I couldn't send him to school because I'd be getting a call 15 minutes later to come get him the way he looked. So I played it safe and kept him home. It was Evan's first sick day from school which made me a little sad because I remember as a kid not wanting to miss school so I'd get perfect attendance. I don't even know if they do those awards anymore, but I just had that flashback for a minute. I ended up calling the doctor and left a message for the nurse. After she called me back she decided that he didn't need to come in and would call in an eye drop prescription for him. It was probably pink eye and he'd have to do the drops for 72 hours. If it got worse to call back, if not he'd be good to go.

By the time I went Monday to pick up his prescription around 11:30am his eye already looked 10 times better. I had just spent $20 on eye drops and thinking, "do we really need these?" I got them though because with my luck I knew if I didn't his eye would get worse. The nurse also informed me that Evan had to be on the drops for a full 24 hours before he could return to school. By then he wouldn't be contagious anymore. That meant no school on Tuesday either! Evan was none to happy about this. He missed school and really wanted to go yesterday. I was tempted to send him since his eye was much improved, but new if I did and someone else got it I'd feel terrible. So Evan had two sick days from school this week which means another three day school week. We did the last of the drops tonight, and his eye looks back to normal. I'm so proud of my little guy. He handled it great and we all know how contagious pink eye can be. I stressed over and over to him that he couldn't rub his eye and especially couldn't rub the pink eye and then the other. He also had to wash his hands A LOT! He did everything right and handled his first eye drops wonderfully. Now here's hoping that only good things pink are at the Shearwater Nest from now on!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Big Snow Storm

Another week come and gone, another week of the blog getting neglected. It is what it is people. I guess there's just not that much exciting happening around here lately that's worthy or writing about. This cold winter weather has overstayed it's welcome, and can leave at anytime. Last week we had the big snowstorm of 2011. Many thought it was going to be the end of the world or so you would of thought. The grocery store was a madhouse. The lines at the gas station were crazy long. You would of thought we lived in Hawaii and a snow storm was coming. I mean really people, we live in Michigan, it is winter, and it does snow here. Granted we did get a lot of snow, but to think you were never going to be able to get gas again or go to the store to buy food to eat is a little excessive.

The snow started in on Tuesday afternoon and by Tuesday afternoon schools were starting to close. MSU even decided to close the university, which never happens. They closed before Evan's school closed. Finally about 7pm we got the call that there would be no school for Ev on Wednesday. It was a snow day for both Evan & Greg. Woo hoo, the whole family home mid-week! Evan was excited. We did get a lot of snow by Wednesday morning. It registered here at about 11.4 inches. It was a lot, but honestly I was a little disappointed. I mean if this was going to be the big snow storm or Snomageddon, or Snopocalypse, or SNOW M G (like OMG), or whatever name you've heard it called, I wanted A LOT of snow. If it's going to snow it might as well do it really big all at once like two feet of snow for a storm with this kind of hype. Oh well, it was still fun having a snow day. As a matter of fact two snow days!

Wednesday the wind was so bad and the snow was drifted really bad and it was a lot at once that it took a long time to get all the roads cleared. While we only got a couple more inches Wednesday afternoon, schools were canceled for Thursday mainly due to the roads and sidewalks not all being clear for buses and walkers by Thursday morning. Greg had to go back to work on Thursday, he only got one snow day. It was nice having my little guy home for two days last week, but going to school on Friday was kind of a drag for one day. Next time mother nature could you please snow on Thursday so the snow days fall for an extended weekend? We pretty much hung out inside because it was just to darn cold to be out.

By the weekend the kids got outside with Greg and got to play in the snow. They made their own sledding hill at the end of the street where the plow piled all the snow. They had a fun time going up and down it. They could have stayed out there all day if I'd let them. It must be a kid thing because they sure don't get liking the cold and snow from me! So that was the highlight from last week! Stayed tuned for this weeks happenings!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Taco Chili... or maybe Taco Soup

So I told you I made a new recipe yesterday. My friend Ann posted it on her blog awhile back, and I've been meaning to make it and just forgot about it. Wow, was I missing out because it's really good! Ann left it up to her readers to decide once they made it, if it was taco soup or taco chili. After I got it made I had pretty much decided from the looks of it that it was taco chili. Then when Greg tasted it he decided it was taco chili. So for the sake of making a decision in this household, we're calling it taco chili at the Shearwater Nest! I think if you wanted to add some water to the recipe (which it says you can do) then you could call it soup. Yesterday I posted a picture of it on Facebook and had three requests right away for the recipe. I think this is one of those recipes that you'll be wanting to make. It's very very simple which is a plus, it doesn't have any weird hard to find ingredients which is another plus, and it's very very tasty which is yet another plus! It's definitely a recipe that will be making many more appearances at the Shearwater Nest!

Taco Chili (or Soup)

1 can of red kidney beans, drained
1 can of black beans, drained
1 can of corn, drained
2 cans of petite diced tomatoes (don't drain!) (I just used one large can- 28oz)
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 packet of powder ranch dressing seasoning
1 pound of ground beef
Shredded cheese (optional)
Sour cream (optional)
Tortilla chips (optional)

Brown the ground beef. Once it's browned, combine with beans, corn, tomatoes, and the 2 packs of seasonings. Add a little water if the consistency seems too thick. (Note: I would wait a little bit before you decide to add water. I thought it was too thick at first, but then as it simmered it wasn't as thick as it was right away). Simmer or set on low in your Crockpot (I just simmered mine on the stove, but Ann had done hers in the Crockpot so either way works). I also had browned the ground beef up the day before and then just through everything together. Serve with tortilla chips, with or without cheese and sour cream on top.

I put sour cream and cheese on top of mine and it was delicious that way. I also served it with tortilla chips which was mighty tasty! Ann mentioned that you could serve it with cornbread instead of tortilla chips if you wanted. I do like cornbread, but that option didn't sound as good to me as the tortilla chips. You could also use tortilla strips.

I don't think you'll be disappointed so give it a try! It's so fast and easy to make and tasty to eat! Here's a little temptation!

It's February 1st and with that brings the big snowstorm of 2011! Schools are canceled for tomorrow and there's supposed to be a lot of snow coming tonight/tomorrow so we shall see!